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 In 1983, Barrett, a bar owner and safecracker who was suspected of a Medford bank burglary, was lured to the South Boston home, chained to a chair, and interrogated for hours by Bulger. BostonGlobe.com, "The home that James “Whitey” Bulger called “The Haunty” may get torn down.," 3 Dec. 2019 For example, school resource officers may use their proximity to deter misbehavior, may pull misbehaving students aside to talk or may be present while school personnel interrogate or search students. F. Chris Curran, The Conversation, "Arrests of 6-year-olds shows the perils of putting police in primary schools," 27 Sep. 2019 Thai media reported that Dear had been interrogated by police investigating the death of Thitima and afterward lodged a complaint with them against the owners of the party house and some guests. Busaba Sivasomboon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "More arrests made over alleged mistreatment of Thai models," 26 Sep. 2019 On arrival he and a friend were detained and interrogated for hours, as investigators accused them of plotting crimes. The Economist, "Foreign travellers to America face scrutiny of their online activity," 8 June 2019 That the man who had interrogated them for years was waiting for them in that same room that had turned Vang so quiet. Paul Yoon, Harper's magazine, "Run Me to Earth," 10 Mar. 2019 White Frog showcases an Asian-American family that must interrogate their family secrets after the death of their son. Phillipe Thao, Teen Vogue, "18 Things to Watch If You Loved "Crazy Rich Asians" and Where to Watch Them," 31 Aug. 2018 Perhaps not, as manhood itself is being interrogated, scrutinized and radically revised. Alex Williams, New York Times, "As Men Are Canceled, So Too Their Magazine Subscriptions," 2 Nov. 2019 Soon his name was on everyone’s lips, as he was interrogated, tortured, tried, convicted and executed before the end of January 1606. Allan Metcalf, Time, "The Surprising Origins of the Phrase 'You Guys'," 30 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for interrogate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for interrogate

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Interrogate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interrogatee?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=i&file=interr11. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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