in·​ter·​rog·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˌin-tə-ˈrä-gə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce interrogatory (audio) \
plural interrogatories

Definition of interrogatory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a formal question or inquiry especially : a written question required to be answered under direction of a court



Definition of interrogatory (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of interrogatory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During it, Brown and Taylor would be required to answer questions under oath, either in depositions (in-person answers) or interrogatories (written answers). Michael Mccann,, "Inside the Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Antonio Brown for Rape and Sexual Assault," 11 Sep. 2019 The result threw a spotlight on special interrogatories, a common feature in civil trials, according to veteran lawyers. Dan Hinkel,, "Conflicting answer in special interrogatory upends verdict to displeasure of jury foreman," 29 June 2018 This vetting will include interrogatories, a public hearing and an evidentiary hearing. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Bel Air water company seeks rate increase to recover new reservoir costs," 28 June 2018 If strong enough to survive those first interrogatories, they will be interviewed by an asylum officer who will run a rough interview that emphasizes preventing fraud and often mistakenly determines that a person shouldn't receive asylum. Luis Mancheno, CBS News, "Analysis: How the asylum process works, and how it needs to change," 8 June 2018 Blomquist, represented by Milwaukee attorney Robert A. Levine, also hit the plaintiffs with a flood of interrogatories and requests for documents. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mequon executive counters sex-tape privacy suit with his own claim of secret recordings," 29 May 2018 The city refused to answer any interrogatories where certain records were not preserved. Todd Lighty,, "In victory for Tribune, judge rules that Emanuel broke law in withholding emails," 15 May 2018 Getting Trump’s direct testimony for a narrower set of interrogatories is Mueller’s way of tying up loose ends. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "The Supreme Court Will Make Trump Talk to Mueller If It Has To," 3 May 2018 Verizon's responses Verizon denied all of the allegations in a lengthy response to the complaint in September 2016 and further responses to interrogatories from Nguyen in April of this year. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC seemingly forgot about a net neutrality complaint filed against Verizon," 10 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But Thornton had also figured out that his character’s power came not from fiercely interrogatory tactics but from apparent empathy and even his warm heart. Chris Jones,, "Our top 10 stage performances of 2017," 21 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interrogatory.' 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 interrogatory


1515, in the meaning defined above


1576, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of interrogatory was in 1515

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Cite this Entry

“Interrogatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for interrogatory


in·​ter·​rog·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˌin-tə-ˈrä-gə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce interrogatory (audio) \
plural interrogatories

Legal Definition of interrogatory

: a written question required by law to be answered under the direction of a court especially : a written question directed by one party to another regarding information that is within the scope of discovery — see also general verdict and special verdict at verdict, special interrogatory

Note: Interrogatories are widely used as a discovery device in civil procedure and also have limited use in criminal proceedings. An interrogatory may be objected to and does not have to be answered if the court determines that it is excessive or burdensome. An interrogatory may also be submitted by a judge to a jury when the court asks for a general verdict and wants to know the basis of the decision, or when the court requires the jury to return a special verdict.

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More from Merriam-Webster on interrogatory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for interrogatory

Spanish Central: Translation of interrogatory

Nglish: Translation of interrogatory for Spanish Speakers

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