Inquest definition

ĭnkwĕst
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The definition of an inquest is an investigation or inquiry into something, especially a court inquiry into the cause of death.

When an autopsy is performed to determine the cause of death and law enforcement investigates to determine if a homicide occurred, this is an example of an inquest.

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An investigation or inquiry.
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An investigation conducted by a coroner, sometimes with the aid of a jury, into the cause of death of a person when the cause may be criminal.
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A hearing conducted by a judge or magistrate to determine damages when a defendant has defaulted.
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A judicial inquiry into a specified matter, such as a person's mental condition.
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A judicial inquiry, as a coroner's investigation of a death.
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The jury or group holding such an inquiry.
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The verdict of such an inquiry.
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An inquiry into a suspicious death conducted by a coroner or medical examiner.
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An inquiry into a particular subject matter by a special jury.
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A judge’s determination of damages after a defendant’s default.
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A formal investigation, often held before a jury, especially one into the cause of a death.
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The jury hearing such an inquiry, and the result of the inquiry.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
inquest
Plural:
inquests

Origin of inquest

  • Middle English enqueste from Old French from Vulgar Latin inquaesīta thing inquired into alteration of Latin inquīsīta feminine past participle of inquīrere to inquire into inquire

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French enqueste (Modern French enquête), from Vulgar Latin inquirere, or from Medieval Latin inquesta < in + Latin quaesita.

    From Wiktionary