• synonyms


[in-kwiz-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-]
See more synonyms for inquisitorial on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to an inquisitor or inquisition.
  2. exercising the office of an inquisitor.
  3. Law.
    1. pertaining to a trial with one person or group inquiring into the facts and acting as both prosecutor and judge.
    2. pertaining to secret criminal prosecutions.
  4. resembling an inquisitor in harshness or intrusiveness.
  5. inquisitive; prying.
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Origin of inquisitorial

1755–65; < Medieval Latin inquīsītōri(us) (Latin inquīsītōr-, stem of inquīsītor inquisitor + -ius adj. suffix) + -al1
Related formsin·quis·i·to·ri·al·ly, adverbin·quis·i·to·ri·al·ness, nounun·in·quis·i·to·ri·al, adjectiveun·in·quis·i·to·ri·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for inquisitorial

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I intend to be inquisitorial, as the committee say they are,--but not impertinently so.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • On the other hand, the officials were inquisitorial and rapacious.

  • This uplifting illusion made him inquisitorial and peremptory.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • Unflinchingly he stands the inquisitorial glance, and for the time Phoebe is foiled.

    The Death Shot

    Mayne Reid

  • The proceeding, too, was inquisitorial, not accusatorial: it required no accusers.

    Not Paul, But Jesus

    Jeremy Bentham

British Dictionary definitions for inquisitorial


  1. of, relating to, or resembling inquisition or an inquisitor
  2. offensively curious; prying
  3. law denoting criminal procedure in which one party is both prosecutor and judge, or in which the trial is held in secretCompare accusatorial (def. 2)
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Derived Formsinquisitorially, adverbinquisitorialness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012