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[kawr-uh-ner, kor-] /ˈkɔr ə nər, ˈkɒr-/
an officer, as of a county or municipality, whose chief function is to investigate by inquest, as before a jury, any death not clearly resulting from natural causes.
Origin of coroner
1225-75; Middle English < Anglo-French corouner supervisor of the Crown's pleas, equivalent to coroune crown + -er -er2
Related forms
coronership, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for coroner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No coroner inquiring into the cause of a sudden death could have been more careful.

    Daisy Miranda Eliot Swan
  • Pete says you better notify the coroner—and I reckon the sheriff, too.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • A coroner's inquest was accordingly held upon the body, and a verdict of "Found dead" returned.

  • Meanwhile at Redcross Farm, the coroner was holding his inquiry.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • When the coroner was informed of the reports in circulation, he became quite indignant.

British Dictionary definitions for coroner


a public official responsible for the investigation of violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths and inquiries into treasure trove. The investigation (coroner's inquest) is held in the presence of a jury (coroner's jury) See also procurator fiscal Compare medical examiner
Derived Forms
coronership, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French corouner officer in charge of the pleas of the Crown, from Old French coronecrown
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
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Word Origin and History for coroner

late 12c., from Anglo-French curuner, from Latin custos placitorum coronae, originally the title of the officer with the duty of protecting the property of the royal family, from Latin corona, literally "crown" (see crown (n.)). The duties of the office gradually narrowed and by 17c. the chief function was to determine the cause of death in cases not obviously natural.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coroner in Medicine

coroner cor·o·ner (kôr'ə-nər)
A public officer whose primary function is to investigate by inquest any death thought to be of other than natural causes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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