interrogate

verb
in·​ter·​ro·​gate | \ in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt , -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 \ noun
interrogation \ in-​ˌter-​ə-​ˈgā-​shən \ noun
interrogational \ in-​ˌter-​ə-​ˈgā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

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

One man suffered having his testicles pierced with sewing needles while being interrogated about the whereabouts of opposition leader Riek Machar, said the Amnesty report. Sam Mednick, The Seattle Times, "South Sudan accused of killings, torture, squalor in jails," 4 Sep. 2018 During two five-minute phone calls from Al Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Al Qubaisi said he hadn’t been interrogated by any law enforcement body about 1MDB deals. Tom Wright, WSJ, "Alleged 1MDB Conspirator Says He Is a Scapegoat for Emiratis," 23 Jan. 2019 Bradshaw said more than 40 potential suspects were interrogated and had their blood drawn for testing. Michael Graczyk, The Seattle Times, "Man who killed newlywed during robbery executed in Texas," 11 Dec. 2018 Among the many signs of accommodation and deference that Trump evinced at the Helsinki shamefest was his response to Putin’s offer to let the Mueller team question indicted Russians in exchange for allowing Russia to interrogate American citizens. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Nothing Short of Treasonous”," 22 July 2018 He was interrogated for more than 12 hours, punched twice in the face and addressed with a racial slur, according to the complaint. Christine Hauser, New York Times, "Wrongfully Imprisoned for 23 Years, White Sox Employee Gets His Job Back," 27 Mar. 2018 The Brownsville police interrogated him about his work with the NAACP and his efforts to register African-American voters. Willie James Inman, Fox News, "Reopening of 1940 Elbert Williams case part of national effort to bring justice to civil rights heroes," 17 Aug. 2018 The law, which passed with bipartisan support, grew out of an episode in the town of Independence, where officers singled out a group of Latino men in a restaurant and aggressively interrogated them about their citizenship status. Washington Post, "Groups mobilize against threat to Oregon’s ‘sanctuary’ law," 11 July 2018 Mihrigul Tursun, speaking to reporters in Washington, said she was interrogated for four days in a row without sleep, had her hair shaved and was subjected to an intrusive medical examination following her second arrest in China in 2017. Maria Danilova, The Seattle Times, "Woman describes torture, beatings in Chinese detention camp," 27 Nov. 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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Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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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 \
interrogated; interrogating

Kids Definition of interrogate

: to question thoroughly Police interrogated a suspect.

interrogate

transitive verb
in·​ter·​ro·​gate | \ in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt \
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 \ noun
interrogator \ in-​ˈter-​ə-​ˌgā-​tər \ noun

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