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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Inquisition


INQUISI'TION, noun s as z. [Latin inquisitio, inquiro. See Inquire.]

1. Inquiry; examination; a searching or search. Psalms 9:12.

2. Judicial inquiry; official examination; inquest.

The justices in eyre had it formerly in charge to make inquisition concerning them by a jury of the county.

3. Examination; discussion.

4. In some catholic countries, a court or tribunal established for the examination and punishment of heretics. This court was established in the twelfth century by father Dominic, who was charged by pope Innocent III. with orders to excite catholic princes and people to extirpate heretics.