Pronunciation: (in"kwu-zish'un, ing"-), [key]
1. an official investigation, esp. one of a political or religious nature, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel punishments.
2. any harsh, difficult, or prolonged questioning.
3. the act of inquiring; inquiry; research.
4. an investigation, or process of inquiry.
5. a judicial or official inquiry.
6. the finding of such an inquiry.
7. the document embodying the result of such inquiry.
8. (cap.) Rom. Cath. Ch.
a. a former special tribunal, engaged chiefly in combating and punishing heresy. Cf. Holy Office.
b. See Spanish Inquisition.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.