interrogate

verb
in·​ter·​ro·​gate | \ in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce interrogate (audio) , -ˈte-rə-\
interrogated; interrogating

Definition of interrogate

transitive verb

1 : to question formally and systematically
2 : to give or send out a signal to (a device, such as a transponder) for triggering an appropriate response

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Other Words from interrogate

interrogatee \ in-​ˌter-​ə-​(ˌ)gā-​ˈtē How to pronounce interrogatee (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for interrogate

Synonyms

ask, catechize, grill, inquire (of), query, question, quiz

Antonyms

answer, reply, respond

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Choose the Right Synonym for interrogate

ask, question, interrogate, query, inquire mean to address a person in order to gain information. ask implies no more than the putting of a question. ask for directions question usually suggests the asking of series of questions. questioned them about every detail of the trip interrogate suggests formal or official systematic questioning. the prosecutor interrogated the witness all day query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation. queried a librarian about the book inquire implies a searching for facts or for truth often specifically by asking questions. began to inquire of friends and teachers what career she should pursue

Examples of interrogate in a Sentence

interrogate a prisoner of war interrogated him about where he'd gone the night before

Recent Examples on the Web

By interrogating Zanco’s unusually draconian control, Magid raises issues of national heritage and the ethics — perhaps even the morality — of sealing up intellectual property in a tomblike vault. Michael O'sullivan, Twin Cities, "A conceptual artist pops a brilliant (but ghoulish) question in ‘The Proposal’," 20 June 2019 In the 1980s in Germany, a deconstructionist attitude toward painting was in the air; interrogating the purpose as well as the nature of the form was de rigueur. David Salle, The New York Review of Books, "Houdini with a Brush," 9 May 2019 The men and women were separated and interrogated individually. Christopher Sherman, Fox News, "Arbitrary arrests, abuse the new norm in Nicaragua," 10 Aug. 2018 How does an editor not interrogate a valuation of life that is hierarchical in this way? Danielle Tcholakian, Longreads, "The Myth of Kevin Williamson," 7 Apr. 2018 Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said Friday that Samuel Little continues to cooperate with investigators from around the country who interrogate him in prison about cold case killings dating back to the 1970s. David Warren, Anchorage Daily News, "Prosecutor: More than 60 deaths now linked to serial killer," 10 June 2019 Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said Samuel Little continues to cooperate with investigators from around the country who interrogate him in prison about cold case killings dating back to the 1970s. NBC News, "Confessed serial killer Samuel Little linked to more than 60 deaths, Texas prosecutor says," 8 June 2019 While the campaign previously targeted party members, a new government agency called the National Supervisory Commission has the power to detain and interrogate people outside the party without a court order. Josh Chin, WSJ, "Famous. Rich. Powerful. Missing.," 12 Oct. 2018 Kouider and Medouni, a banker, repeatedly interrogated Lionnet in an attempt to make her confess. Jill Lawless, BostonGlobe.com, "London couple convicted of murdering nanny, burning her body," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interrogate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of interrogate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for interrogate

Latin interrogatus, past participle of interrogare, from inter- + rogare to ask — more at right

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Statistics for interrogate

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for interrogate

The first known use of interrogate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for interrogate

interrogate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of interrogate

: to ask (someone) questions in a thorough and often forceful way

interrogate

verb
in·​ter·​ro·​gate | \ in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce interrogate (audio) \
interrogated; interrogating

Kids Definition of interrogate

: to question thoroughly Police interrogated a suspect.

interrogate

transitive verb
in·​ter·​ro·​gate | \ in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce interrogate (audio) \
interrogated; interrogating

Legal Definition of interrogate

: to question formally and systematically especially : to gather information from (a suspect) by means that are reasonably likely to elicit incriminating responses — see also miranda rights

Note: Under Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980), interrogating includes not just express questioning, but also any words or actions that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. Asking questions that are normally asked in the course of arrest or booking (such as questions about name or age) is not considered interrogation.

Other Words from interrogate

interrogation \ in-​ˌter-​ə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce interrogation (audio) \ noun
interrogator \ in-​ˈter-​ə-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce interrogator (audio) \ noun

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