Definition of inquisitorial in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˌkwɪzɪˈtɔːrɪəl/


1Of or like an inquisitor, especially in questioning someone in a harsh or intensive manner: he was questioning her in a cold, inquisitorial voice
More example sentences
  • There was barely an inquisitorial question from any of them, and who cares about the ground rules?
  • Yet another inquisitorial voice seeks clarification: Does the poet identify himself as a post-colonial subject or not?
  • He never interrogated anyone in inquisitorial fashion about their beliefs and condemned them, but was able to look into their hearts.
1.1 Law (Of a trial or legal procedure) characterized by the judge performing an examining role: administration is accompanied by a form of inquisitorial justice Compare with accusatorial, adversarial.
More example sentences
  • Like most of Latin America, Chile inherited an inquisitorial legal system from Spain.
  • Opponents of implementing the inquisitorial system argue the efficacy of the adversarial system.
  • I can therefore make the submission that the pre-trial procedure (commencing from the state collecting the facts, to the advanced disclosure, culminating with plea bargaining) in the Hong Kong Magistrate is inquisitorial.



Pronunciation: /ɪnˌkwɪzɪˈtɔːrɪəli/
Example sentences
  • Rather the decision falls to be taken by the executive authority acting inquisitorially.
  • This Tribunal is enjoined to not only be fair, but also to be quick and to act inquisitorially and not adversarially, but harm might be done.
  • But acting inquisitorially does not mean acting unfairly, as paragraph 17 of the Scheme makes plain.


Mid 18th century: from medieval Latin inquisitorius (from Latin inquisitor, from inquirere 'inquire') + -al.

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Line breaks: in|quisi|tor¦ial

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