1. a legal or judicial inquiry, usually before a jury, especially an investigation made by a coroner into the cause of a death.
  2. the body of people appointed to hold such an inquiry, especially a coroner’s jury.
  3. the decision or finding based on such inquiry.
  4. an investigation or examination.


  1. an inquiry into the cause of an unexplained, sudden, or violent death, or as to whether or not property constitutes treasure trove, held by a coroner, in certain cases with a jury
  2. informal any inquiry or investigation

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).


  1. A legal inquiry into the cause of violent or mysterious death.
  2. The finding based on such an inquiry.

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