Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or having the function of an inquisitor.
  • adj. Law Relating to a trial in which one party acts as both prosecutor and judge.
  • adj. Law Relating to a criminal proceeding conducted in secrecy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or pertaining to an inquisition, specifically the Inquisition
  • adj. in a manner of inquisition or inquisitors
  • adj. describing a trial system in which the prosecutor also acts as judge

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to inquisition; making rigorous and unfriendly inquiry; searching.
  • adj. Pertaining to the Court of Inquisition or resembling its practices.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to inquisition; specifically, pertaining to the Inquisition, or resembling its practices; making strict or searching inquiry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by inquisitive interest; especially suggestive of an ecclesiastical inquisitor
  • adj. having the authority to conduct official investigations
  • adj. especially indicating a form of prosecution in which proceedings are secret and the accused is questioned by a prosecutor who acts also as the judge

Etymologies

inquisitor +‎ -ial (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think I've said before that Letten and his people have a certain inquisitorial aspect to them ...

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • German jurists term the inquisitorial proceeding; it became the duty of the Echevin to denounce the ‘Leumund,’ or manifest evil fame, to the secret tribunal. if the Echevins and the Freygraff were satisfied with the presentment, either from their own knowledge, or from the information of their compeer, the offender was said to be

    Anne of Geierstein

  • And I listened with interest while Mr. Harland put his former college friend through a kind of inquisitorial examination as to what he had been doing and where he had been journeying since they last met.

    The Life Everlasting; a reality of romance

  • He conferred on it a kind of inquisitorial and censorial powers even over the laity, and directed it to inquire into all matters of conscience; into all conduct which had given scandal; into all actions which, though they escaped the law, might appear contrary to good morals.

    The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. From Henry VII. to Mary

  • Allen said BP and the government are working closely together, with the government holding veto power and adopting an "inquisitorial" stand toward the company's ideas.

    WRAL.com Top Stories

  • (How, after all, could I otherwise sustain my insistence that even the European legal systems we conventionally call "inquisitorial" are solidly adversary in my sense of the word?)

    Legal Ethics Forum

  • "inquisitorial" system used by the board to judge the risk posed by an offender and replace it with an adversarial approach, in which only proven facts could be used.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • These general committees, which were a kind of inquisitorial courts, had not then been established; and we find that the king, in a former declaration. [

    The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. From Charles I. to Cromwell

  • Rowley's attorney, Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson, sought the intervention of the enquiry's chairman, Prof John Uff. Saying he thought Goddard was asking "a very proper question", Uff reminded Peterson that this is a public enquiry "which is" inquisitorial ".

    TrinidadExpress Today's News

  • Still, his inquisitorial eye and his magic with a prose sentence have not abandoned him, nor the organ tones of his mesmerizing voice.

    Christopher Lydon: V. S. Naipaul's "Gloomy Clarity" About Africa and Himself (AUDIO)

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