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late 13c., an-queste "legal or judicial inquiry," from Old French enqueste "inquiry," from Vulgar Latin *inquaestia (cf. Italian inchiesta), from fem. past participle of Vulgar Latin *inquirere "inquire" (see inquire).
inquest in·quest (ĭn'kwěst')
A legal inquiry into the cause of violent or mysterious death.
The finding based on such an inquiry.
judicial inquiry by a group of persons appointed by a court. The most common type is the inquest set up to investigate a death apparently occasioned by unnatural means. Witnesses are examined, and a special jury returns a verdict on the cause of death. In England inquests are also required when there is loss or injury in a fire. The inquest is confined to common-law jurisdictions that have a coroner system