Definition of inquest in English:


Line breaks: in|quest
Pronunciation: /ˈɪnkwɛst


1 Law A judicial inquiry to ascertain the facts relating to an incident.
More example sentences
  • The costs could continue to rise as the Ministry of Defence is considering applying for a judicial review of the inquest.
  • When being questioned in the inquest to this last incident, he is said to have given what I consider to be his most infamous saying yet.
  • In her opinion the incidents described at the inquest were not necessarily related to the school, but had links with the local community.
1.1British An inquiry by a coroner’s court into the cause of a death.
More example sentences
  • An initial inquest on the island returned a verdict of accidental death but a second inquest held at Bromley Magistrates' Court recorded an open verdict.
  • The Divisional Court directed the coroner to resume the inquest.
  • The matter has now been referred to the coroner and an inquest into the death will be held in due course.
1.2British A coroner’s jury.
More example sentences
  • The inquest consists of 11 eligible voters who review Prosecutors' decisions not to indict suspects.
  • The inquest was told that when the incident happened, the southbound GNER train was travelling at 117 mph.
  • The inquest also heard that an incident of her head shaking at an outpatient appointment had not been recorded in her medical notes.
2 informal A discussion or investigation into something that has happened, especially something undesirable: an inquest by New York newspapers into a subway fire
More example sentences
  • The company is carrying out its own investigation and an inquest was due to be opened this week.


Middle English from Old French enqueste, based on Latin inquirere (see enquire).

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