Definition of interrogatory in US English:



  • Conveying the force of a question; questioning.

    ‘the guard moves away with an interrogatory stare’
    • ‘Here are some proposed rule changes and potential interrogatory disclosures.’
    • ‘It is much better to get into such things in the End Conversation than to reserve them for the more interrogatory or confrontational setting of the routine questioning of the drug history.’
    • ‘Since you are not an investigator, save additional interrogatory questions for those who are.’
    • ‘Her comments are made more critical by several additional comments that she presents in the form of closed questions, all of which are more evaluative than interrogatory.’
    • ‘Similarly, Ben Rafoth has proposed several interrogatory methods with which writing center tutors can help students take more analytic approaches to their writing.’
    • ‘His technique was always testing and interrogatory, probing our logic and beliefs and the validity of our observations.’
    • ‘Professor Ruse's interrogatory title probably reflects a vital question for important sectors of American society.’
    • ‘The second stanza extends both the interrogatory mode and intensifies the language contrapuntal to the traditional imagery.’
    • ‘He could be set off by the merest interrogatory twitch, and had no compunction about personifying the ‘composer as intellectual’.’
    • ‘Rather, this finding would appear to indicate a lack of interrogatory concern, which may be characteristic of offenders.’
    • ‘He sat on the right, facing the inquisitorial gaze of a packed auditorium, under the interrogatory glare of stage lighting.’
    • ‘It is a mood in which torture is once more viewed as a legitimate interrogatory instrument of ‘justice’.’
    • ‘But snobbery aside, could it be that a fashion for interrogatory esotericism does not stop with dusty academics?’
    • ‘If one is to acknowledge that one's political decisions are not always based on ‘the good and the true’, one has to think through the power configurations of what one is doing in a far more interrogatory way.’
    • ‘My interrogatory moment was occasioned by an encounter with the young daughter of a friend.’


  • A written question which is formally put to one party in a case by another party and which must be answered.

    • ‘He also claims it is unconstitutional to even require him to provide the discovery information the plaintiffs seek in the case - answers to interrogatories, and copies of documents.’
    • ‘He would have to answer written interrogatories.’
    • ‘If you go to the terms of the loan agreement, which your Honours will find in volume 4 at page 1043, your Honours will see it is an answer to interrogatory which is replicated in the case of the other borrowers.’
    • ‘The Former Directors have offered to answer written interrogatories from the Insurer and to have such answers included in sworn affidavits.’
    • ‘On this pretext, the police can refuse to produce documents, give evidence, answer interrogatories or provide particulars.’


Mid 16th century: the noun from medieval Latin interrogatoria, plural of interrogatorium; the adjective from late Latin interrogatorius, based on Latin interrogare (see interrogate).