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[in-kwiz-i-ter] /ɪnˈkwɪz ɪ tər/
a person who makes an inquisition.
a questioner, especially an unduly curious or harsh one.
a person who investigates in an official capacity.
a member of the Inquisition.
Origin of inquisitor
1495-1505; < Latin inquīsītor, equivalent to inquīsī-, variant stem of inquīrere to inquire + -tor -tor
Can be confused
inquirer, inquisitor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inquisitor
Historical Examples
  • Almost like one hypnotized, Miss Mystery gave a helpless glance at her inquisitor and murmured a low, almost inaudible “yes.”

    The Mystery Girl Carolyn Wells
  • Katherine rose and gazed at him with the austerity of an inquisitor.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • In fact, the most pressing business of the inquisitor in visiting his district was to attend to this.

  • Phelps was not asking me these things, the inquisitor was actually telling me.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • In fact, they were subject to excommunication if they refused to give money when called upon by the inquisitor.

  • What the execution of the inquisitor's office meant, is, alas!

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
  • Here the inquisitor again admonished him to confess the truth before his torment began.

    House of Torment Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • The Frenchman darted a quick and angry look at his inquisitor.

  • One of his authorities is the inquisitor Bernardus Guidonis, and there is no writer whom, in various shapes, he quotes so often.

    The History of Freedom John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
  • I asked again, as an inquisitor might say, 'Have you had enough?'

    The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers
British Dictionary definitions for inquisitor


a person who inquires, esp deeply, searchingly, or ruthlessly
(often capital) an official of the ecclesiastical court of the Inquisition
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 inquisitor

c.1400, from Old French inquisiteur (c.1400) or directly from Latin inquisitor "searcher, examiner," in law, "an investigator, collector of evidence," agent noun from Latin inquirere (see inquire). As the title of an officer of the Inquisition, from 1540s. Related: Inquisitorial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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