What does inquisition mean?

Definitions for inquisitionˌɪn kwəˈzɪʃ ən, ˌɪŋ-

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word inquisition.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Inquisition(noun)

    a former tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church (1232-1820) created to discover and suppress heresy

  2. inquisition(noun)

    a severe interrogation (often violating the rights or privacy of individuals)


  1. inquisition(Noun)

    an investigation or inquiry into the truth of some matter

  2. inquisition(Noun)

    an inquest

  3. inquisition(Noun)

    a questioning

  4. Inquisition(ProperNoun)

    a tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church set up to investigate and suppress heresy

  5. Inquisition(ProperNoun)

    a harsh or rigorous interrogation that violates the rights of an individual

Webster Dictionary

  1. Inquisition(noun)

    the act of inquiring; inquiry; search; examination; inspection; investigation

  2. Inquisition(noun)

    judicial inquiry; official examination; inquest

  3. Inquisition(noun)

    the finding of a jury, especially such a finding under a writ of inquiry

  4. Inquisition(noun)

    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

  5. Inquisition(verb)

    to make inquisistion concerning; to inquire into

  6. Origin: [L. inquisitio : cf. F. inquisition. See Inquire, and cf. Inquest.]


  1. Inquisition

    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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Inquisition

    in-kwi-zish′un, n. an inquiring or searching for: investigation: judicial inquiry: a tribunal in the R.C. Church, called also 'the Holy Office,' for the discovery, repression and punishment of heresy, unbelief, and other offences against religion.—v.t. (Milt.), to investigate.—adjs. Inquisit′ional, making inquiry: relating to the Inquisition: Inquis′itive, searching into: apt to ask questions: curious.—adv. Inquis′itively.—ns. Inquis′itiveness; Inquis′itor, one who inquires: an official inquirer: a member of the Court of Inquisition.—adj. Inquisitō′rial.—adv. Inquisitō′rially.—n. Inquis′itress, an inquisitive woman.—adj. Inquisitū′rient (Milt.), inquisitorial.—Grand Inquisitor, the chief in a Court of Inquisition. [L. inquisition-em. See Inquire.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Inquisition

    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.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of inquisition in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of inquisition in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. President Barack Obama:

    Remember that during the crusades and the inquisition people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

  2. Jeremy Taylor:

    Adultery itself in its principle is many times nothing but a curious inquisition after, and envy of another man's enclosed pleasures: and there have been many who refused fairer objects that they might ravish an enclosed woman from her retirement and single possessor.

  3. President Obama:

    Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ, in our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. ...So this is not unique to one group or one religion.

  4. Barack Obama:

    And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ, in our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and I returned from India — an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity — but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs — acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.

Images & Illustrations of inquisition

  1. inquisitioninquisitioninquisition

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