Definitions for inquisitionˌɪn kwəˈzɪʃ ən, ˌɪŋ-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word inquisition
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
in•qui•si•tionˌɪn kwəˈzɪʃ ən, ˌɪŋ-(n.)
an official investigation, esp. one of a political or religious nature, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel punishments.
any harsh, difficult, or prolonged questioning.
the act of inquiring.
an investigation, or process of inquiry.
a judicial or official inquiry.
the document embodying the result of such inquiry.
(cap.) Rom. Cath. Ch. a former special tribunal, engaged chiefly in combating and punishing heresy.
Origin of inquisition:
1350–1400; ME < L inquīsītiō search, investigation, der. of inquīsī-, var. s. of inquīrere to inquire
a former tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church (1232-1820) created to discover and suppress heresy
a severe interrogation (often violating the rights or privacy of individuals)
an investigation or inquiry into the truth of some matter
a tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church set up to investigate and suppress heresy
a harsh or rigorous interrogation that violates the rights of an individual
the act of inquiring; inquiry; search; examination; inspection; investigation
judicial inquiry; official examination; inquest
the finding of a jury, especially such a finding under a writ of inquiry
a court or tribunal for the examination and punishment of heretics, fully established by Pope Gregory IX. in 1235. Its operations were chiefly confined to Spain, Portugal, and their dependencies, and a part of Italy
to make inquisistion concerning; to inquire into
The Inquisition was a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Roman Catholic Church whose aim was to combat heresy. It started in 12th-century France to combat the spread of religious sectarianism, in particular the Cathars and the Waldensians. This Medieval Inquisition persisted into the 14th century, from the 1250s associated with the Dominican Order. In the early 14th century, two other movements attracted the attention of the Inquisition, the Knights Templar and the Beguines. At the end of the Middle Ages, the concept and scope of the Inquisition was significantly expanded, now in the historical context of the turmoils of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Its geographic scope was expanded to other European countries, as well as throughout the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Its focus now came to include the persecution of sorcery, making it one of the agents in the Early Modern witch-hunts. The institution persisted after the end of the witch-trial period in the 18th century, but was abolished outside of the Papal States after the Napoleonic wars. The institution survives as part of the Roman Curia, but it was renamed to Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in 1904.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
an ecclesiastical tribunal established in 1248 under Pope Innocent IV., and set up successively in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the S. of France, for the trial and punishment of heretics, of which that established in Spain achieved the greatest notoriety from the number of victims it sacrificed, and the remorseless tortures to which they were subjected, both when under examination to extort confession and after conviction. The rigour of its action began to abate in the 17th century, but it was not till 1835, after frequent attempts to limit its power and suppress it, that it was abolished in Spain. Napoleon suppressed it in France in 1808, and after an attempted revival from 1814 to 1820, its operations there came to an end. St. Dominic (q. v.) has the credit of having invented the institution by the zeal which animated him for the orthodoxy of the Church.
Find a translation for the inquisition definition in other languages:
Select another language: