An inquest is when a court of law or a coroner investigates the circumstances of a person's death. If a person in your family dies suddenly, you might attend an inquest at the courthouse.

A death doesn't always require an inquest — they are typically carried out when there is something unexplained or suspicious about the way someone died. The inquest might be a step before a murder investigation, for example. Like a trial, a court inquest typically has a verdict issued by a judge, which might be "natural death" or "accidental death." The Old French root word is enqueste, or "inquiry."

Definitions of inquest
  1. noun
    an inquiry into the cause of an unexpected death
    see moresee less
    type of:
    enquiry, inquiry
    a systematic investigation of a matter of public interest
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month