disquisition

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French disquisition (disquisition), from Latin disquīsītiō (inquiry, investigation), from disquīrō (to investigate) (from dis- (prefix meaning ‘apart, asunder’) + quaerō (to look for, seek; to inquire, question)) + -tiō (suffix forming nouns relating to an action or the result of an action).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

disquisition (plural disquisitions)

  1. A methodical inquiry or investigation.
    • 1799, [Arthur Young], “Occupation”, in General View of the Agriculture of the County of Lincoln; Drawn Up for the Consideration of the Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement. By the Secretary to the Board, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bulmer and Co. for G[eorge] Nicol, [], OCLC 1086512127, section 5 (Leases), page 59:
      Upon the subject of leases, as I wish to avoid all disquisitions which concern the kingdom at large, as much as the county of Lincoln in particular, it will be necessary only to remark, that great as have been improvements in it, I have not the least doubt they would have been much greater and more rapid, had the custom of granting leases been as common here as it is in Norfolk or Suffolk.
    • 1903 February, G[ilbert] K[eith] Chesterton, “Browning in Early Life”, in Robert Browning (English Men of Letters), New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., published November 1903, OCLC 878903739, page 25:
      The usual accusation against [Robert] Browning is that he was consumed with logic; that he thought all subjects to be the proper pabulum of intellectual disquisition; []
  2. A lengthy, formal discourse that analyses or explains some topic; (loosely) a dissertation or treatise.
    • 1761, Adam Smith, “Of the Beauty which the Appearance of Utility Bestows upon All the Productions of Art, and of the Extensive Influence of this Species of Beauty”, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 2nd edition, London: Printed for A[ndrew] Millar, []; Edinburgh: A[lexander] Kincaid and J. Bell, OCLC 504648843, part IV (Of the Effect of Utility upon the Sentiment of Approbation), page 278:
      Upon this account political diſquiſitions, if juſt, and reasonable, and practicable, are of all the works of ſpeculation the most uſeful.
    • 1791, William Robertson, “Section III. Intercourse with India, from the Conquest of Egypt by the Mahomedans, to the Discovery of the Passage by the Cape of Good Hope, and the Establishment of the Portuguese Dominion in the East.”, in An Historical Disquisition Concerning The Knowledge which the Ancients had of India; [] (The Works of William Robertson, D.D. [...] In Twelve Volumes; XII), new edition, London: Printed [by Andrew Strahan] for Cadell and Davies [et al.], published 1817, OCLC 1051117558, pages 161–162:
      It is only by considering the distance to which large quantities of these commodities are carried, [] that we can form any idea of the magnitude of the trade with India by land, and are led to perceive, that in a Disquisition concerning the various modes of conducting this commerce, it is well entitled to the attention which I have bestowed in endeavouring to trace it.
    • 1791 February, “Art. II. The Theory of Moral Sentiments; [] By Adam Smith, LL.D. [] The Sixth Edition, with Considerable Additions and Corrections. 8vo. 2 Vols. pp. 480 in each. 12s. Boards. Cadell. 1790. [book review]”, in The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal, Enlarged, volume IV, London: Printed for R[alph] Griffiths; and sold by T[homas] Becket, [], OCLC 901376714, page 140:
      The parts of this piece are ſo intimately connected, that any ſingle portion will appear with great diſadvantage in a detached ſtate: but we muſt give the critical reader a taſte of this elegant and maſterly diſquiſition.
    • 1825, James Christie, “Preface”, in Disquisitions upon the Painted Greek Vases, and Their Probable Connection with the Shows of the Eleusinian and Other Mysteries, London: Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, [], OCLC 9510960, page v:
      As these disquisitions were not originally intended for the public eye, the writer, several years ago, was induced to limit an impression of them to a small number of copies, that he might have the pleasure of placing them in the hands of a learned few, for whom he entertained a particular affection or respect, and whom he knew to be conversant with, or interested in, the subject of his enquiry.
    • 1830 January, “Art. V.—Legal Outlines, being the Substance of a Course of Lectures now Delivering in the University of Maryland. By David Hoffman, Vol. I, 8vo. pp. 626. [book review]”, in The North American Review, volume XXX, number LXVI (New Series, volume XXI, number XLI), Boston, Mass.: Gray and Bowen, [], ISSN 0029-2397, OCLC 1041859381, page 159:
      Though the work pretends to no more than the elementary or institutionary character, some of the disquisitions do honor to both the author's ingenuity and his learning.
    • 1908 December 12, “Some Christmas Books. [A Book about Egypt.]”, in Alfred Holman, editor, The Argonaut, volume LXIII, number 1655, San Francisco, Calif.: Argonaut Publishing Company, OCLC 33214557, page 399, column 2:
      We are thankful to the author for sparing us learned historical disquisitions about the antiquity of Egypt. We have some of these, but not too much, and none at all of the theories that are so valuable to the owner, and to no one else.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip, “Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato”, in Donald W. Prakken, editor, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, volume XCII, Philadelphia, Pa.: American Philological Association, DOI:10.2307/283830, ISSN 0065-9711, JSTOR 283830, OCLC 606285566, page 455:
      In this disquisition of the third book Plato is concerned with the moral effects of artistic representation on the youth of his state.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin disquīsītiō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

disquisition f (plural disquisitions)

  1. (formal) disquisition

References[edit]