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

Antonyms

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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 Rittgers said this information proved to be false and laid the groundwork for police to interrogate Richardson, who was then 18, for a second time. Keith Bierygolick, Cincinnati.com, "Skylar Richardson trial: Attorney blasts police who investigated buried baby case. 'No guts'," 3 Sep. 2019 One of the important things to do in our everyday life is just to interrogate that. Meena Harris, Glamour, "It's Black Women's Equal Pay Day. No Matter Who You Are, That Should Matter to You," 22 Aug. 2019 Everyone’s a suspect when Detective Hercule Poirot arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 In some states such as Washington, where marijuana is legal, federal immigration authorities working at border crossings have been known to interrogate noncitizens about cannabis, according to the ILRC advisory. Ting-chia Kan, chicagotribune.com, "Wisconsin man — who arrived in U.S. in ’81 as Cambodian refugee — is deported for marijuana offenses, leaving behind his wife and new baby," 7 Aug. 2019 Witnesses, along with both the accused and Jafari are expected to be interrogated on Thursday. NBC News, "ASAP Rocky set to give evidence in Swedish court in assault trial," 1 Aug. 2019 But the Department of Corrections used that as license to interrogate and intimidate. al.com, "Why does God need public records? In Alabama, that’s a real question.," 14 July 2019 Their choices of territory to explore and stories to interrogate are not just academic concerns, but reshape the mythologies on which nation-states are built, understood and mobilized. Carlos Lozada, Houston Chronicle, "Are we telling the right story of America?," 6 July 2019 Instead, the movie lingers upon the surface of this emotional core, leaving us to interrogate Peter’s sadness and fear of disappointing his hero on our own. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Spider-Man: Far From Home starts slow. Then it swings for the stars.," 27 June 2019

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

26 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce interrogate (audio)

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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