Definition of interrogate in English:



  • 1Ask questions of (someone) closely, aggressively, or formally.

    ‘he was interrogated by MI6’
    • ‘She liked the fact that her brother was respecting her privacy for once in his life, and didn't interrogate her with endless questions.’
    • ‘For another half hour or so he was again interrogated - being asked questions he had already answered the night before.’
    • ‘That designation means that United States authorities can interrogate him more aggressively, less encumbered by the legal protections an ordinary citizen would enjoy in a criminal case.’
    • ‘Various men would approach Julius and I, usually interrogating us with questions of our commitment and how agreeable Julius truly was.’
    • ‘He plays with the wording of questions or suddenly interrogates me about my private life.’
    • ‘The manner in which he asked the question made it seem like he was interrogating us.’
    • ‘I haven't personally interrogated anyone, but I know of an interrogation that took place in the field of battle or operations that I was a part of.’
    • ‘Five days later he was handed over to the US military and transferred to a US navy ship where American military and later Australian intelligence officers interrogated him.’
    • ‘They both interrogated me with repetitive questions about my life away from them in California.’
    • ‘One woman told reporters that officers had held her face down at gunpoint, interrogated her in front of her two young children and turned the residence ‘upside down’.’
    • ‘If you are interrogating someone, perhaps they will clam up about some interesting questions, but at least you can be precise about what you are asking.’
    • ‘He was interrogated by the Home Office but we still don't know why it happened.’
    • ‘I was really confused, but decided not to question or interrogate her - yet.’
    • ‘He struggled against the tight ropes keeping him bound to a chair as a medium sized French officer interrogated him.’
    • ‘There, a man interrogated her with questions like, ‘What time was it?’’
    • ‘They interrogated me for two hours, mainly starting with profiling questions.’
    • ‘People are talking about the difficulty of interrogating him, given how high-profile he is.’
    • ‘The Bill increases the length of time that police officers can interrogate someone arrested for a federal ‘terrorist offence’ from 4 hours to 24 hours.’
    • ‘As our circulation got going again, the pain became excruciating - and it was then, when we were doubled up in agony on the floor, that they started interrogating us about who we were and what we had been doing.’
    • ‘No, I told you, do not ask me questions; you cannot interrogate me.’
    question, put questions to, cross-question, cross-examine, quiz, probe, catechize, sound out
    interview, examine, debrief
    pump, grill, give someone the third degree, put someone through the third degree, put the screws on, put someone through the wringer, worm something out of someone
    View synonyms
  • 2Obtain data from (a computer file, database, storage device, or terminal)

    ‘an interactive system enables users to interrogate the database’
    • ‘Such exercises encourage thoroughness, both in interrogating the data at hand and in providing an account of how an analysis was developed.’
    • ‘There are now increasing numbers of projects which aim systematically to sequence insertion sites, so that mutant isolation will simply involve interrogating databases and then requesting seed.’
    • ‘‘We discovered the mood-regulating circuit by using the gene to interrogate the imaging data,’ explained Weinberger.’
    • ‘I successfully managed to interrogate their website and was duly instructed that I must copy my passport and provide two recent photos in person at my branch for security reasons.’
    • ‘Once coding had been achieved, the data were interrogated and systematically explored to generate meaning.’
    • ‘It took a further few to interrogate the database and identify the first target.’
    • ‘While pretending to interrogate the terminal, I extended my hearing.’
    • ‘Developers really need to understand the widgets with which they're working and must know how to configure and interrogate them using low-level calls directly to the widgets themselves.’
    • ‘We had built a kind of typewriter device that would enable you to interrogate what, at the time, seemed to be a huge database.’
    • ‘Open source methodologies used in software are interrogated and then compared to the methods used in farmers' rights groups.’
    • ‘The first stage is to interrogate the data through filtering of noise and converting the data into a more friendly format.’
    • ‘The first hits obtained with the E. coli queries were used in turn to interrogate the databases.’
    • ‘These were used to compile the list of information items for which sites were interrogated for this research.’
    • ‘When a normal search is undertaken, the query compiler interrogates each table within the scope of the search and returns a list of full-text fields for each.’
    • ‘BGT opted to build a web-based system that would allow customers to interrogate the data held in its databases and pull down the information relevant to them on an ‘as-needed’ basis.’
    1. 2.1(of an electronic device) transmit a signal to (another device, especially one on a vehicle) to obtain information about identity, condition, etc.
      ‘a ground-based transmitter sends a signal to interrogate an instrument on the aircraft’
      • ‘When patients with ICDs expire, it is appropriate to interrogate the device to determine whether device malfunction contributed to death.’
      • ‘For a complete answer we're afraid you'll need to go to a BMW dealer who will have the electronic gear to interrogate the system.’
      • ‘Each well is thus optically wired such that it can be individually interrogated.’
      • ‘As with autos, a technician will diagnose problems by plugging in a handheld computer that interrogates the engine and all other boat systems, revealing the cause of the problem and in many cases, recommending the fix.’
      • ‘Other EPIRBs interrogate the aircraft's onboard GPS equipment for position information.’
      • ‘On the other hand, my cannula was well positioned and my antibiotics were given intravenously with great regularity, and my cardiac monitor was interrogated and monitored regularly.’
      • ‘After the procedure, the PPM/ICD should always be interrogated to ensure that device function and/or programming have not been altered.’
      • ‘Every child could have embedded location detectors and many houses could have electronics for interrogating such detectors.’
      • ‘When the device was interrogated, no evidence was found that a shock had been delivered.’
      • ‘Not to dwell on the food-shopping angle, but imagine the convenience of bagging your groceries as you go up and down the aisles, then having the checkout device interrogate your entire shopping cart.’
      • ‘In server mode, the nodes continuously interrogate the tracking systems or other parent server nodes for position information and make the information available for the clients.’
      • ‘Radar is the vital part of the IFF system, interrogating unit-based transponders and reading responses.’
      • ‘In such electrically passive topologies, the lasers and receivers are located remotely from the sensor arrays and interrogate the sensors via fiber-optic links.’
      • ‘These currents make it more difficult to use an electrostatic field to interrogate the system.’
      • ‘I'm talking about things like being able to interrogate the network remotely from the NOC to understand where the circuit cards are, down to the inventory level.’


Late 15th century: from Latin interrogat- questioned, from the verb interrogare, from inter- between + rogare ask.