AskDefine | Define interrogation

Dictionary Definition



1 a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply; "he asked a direct question"; "he had trouble phrasing his interrogations" [syn: question, interrogative, interrogative sentence]
2 a transmission that will trigger an answering transmission from a transponder
3 formal systematic questioning [syn: examination, interrogatory]
4 an instance of questioning; "there was a question about my training"; "we made inquiries of all those who were present" [syn: question, inquiry, enquiry, query] [ant: answer]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ɪnˌter.əˈgeɪ.ʃən/, /In.tEr.@"gEI.S@n/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃǝn


  1. The act of interrogating or questioning; examination by questions; inquiry.
  2. A question put; an inquiry.
  3. A point, mark, or sign, thus ?, indicating that the sentence with which it is connected is a question. It is used to express doubt, or to mark a query. Called also interrogation point.


act of interrogating or questioning
a question put; an inquiry
a point, mark, or sign
to be checked




Extensive Definition

Interrogation or Questioning is interviewing as employed by officers of the Police, Military, and Inquisition.
The interviewed is also referred to as a "source". It is used for getting information from a suspect after a crime scene.
Interviewing is not necessarily to force a confession, but rather to develop sufficient rapport as to prompt the source to disclose valuable information.

Interrogation around the World




Cold War War On Terror Torture is now officially banned from use at Guantanamo Bay and all other U.S. camps for illegal combatants. Army regulations state that such treatment during interrogation crosses the boundary between acceptable methods of gaining information and torture.
US Air Force General Jack L. Rives (Deputy Judge Advocate General) advised a US government task force that many of the extreme methods of interrogation would leave service personnel open to legal sanction in the US and foreign countries.
US officers were previously allowed interrogation techniques classified as torture including:
See also How to Break a Terrorist: Veteran FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan has broken some of al Qaeda’s toughest operatives. In this special interview with FP, he shares some of his methods for making a terrorist tell all. Foreign Policy Television (FPTV) video.

Nazi Germany



Japan is famous for marathon interrogations, and therefore a high amount of false confessions.

Resistance Training

Resistance training is often a prerequisite for some personnel since prisoners of war (POWs) routinely undergo military interrogation.

Interrogation Techniques

There are multiple possible methods of interrogation including deception, torture, increasing suggestibility, and using mind-altering drugs.


The methods used to increase suggestibility are moderate sleep deprivation, exposure to constant white noise, and using GABAergic drugs such as sodium amytal.


One notable interrogation technique is the Reid technique. However, the Reid technique (which requires interrogators to watch the body language of suspects to detect deceit) has been criticized for being too difficult to apply across cultures and is impracticable for many law enforcement officers.


Deception can form an important part of effective interrogation. In the U.S., there is no law or regulation that forbids the interrogator from lying, from making misleading statements or from implying that the interviewee has already been implicated in the crime by someone else.


Interrogations may involve torture, which is judged to be ineffective at producing accurate information but is effective in getting false confessions which might be useful for political reasons for the officer and organization in question by raising the number of successful investigations.


Movement for increased recording of interrogations in the US

Currently, there is a movement for mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations in the United States. "Electronic Recording" describes the process of recording interrogations from start to finish. This is in contrast to a "taped" or "recorded confession," which typically only includes the final statement of the suspect. "Taped interrogation" is the traditional term for this process; however, as analog is becoming less and less common, statutes and scholars are referring to the process as "electronically recording" interviews or interrogations. Alaska, Illinois, Maine,, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the only states to require taped interrogation. New Jersey’s taping requirement started on January 1, 2006. Massachusetts allows jury instructions that state that the courts prefer taped interrogations. See Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, 813 N.E.2d 516, 533-34 (Mass. 2004). Commander Neil Nelson of the St. Paul Police Department, an expert in taped interrogation, has described taped interrogation in Minnesota as the "best thing ever rammed down our throats."

See also


External links and sources

interrogation in German: Vernehmung
interrogation in French: Interrogatoire
interrogation in Dutch: Interrogatie
interrogation in Finnish: Poliisikuulustelu
interrogation in Swedish: Förhör
interrogation in Yiddish: אינטעריגאציע

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Socratic method, asking, bone of contention, bringing into question, catechetical method, catechism, catechization, catechizing, challenge, cross-examination, cross-interrogatory, cross-question, debating point, demand, dispute, examination, feeler, grilling, inquiring, inquiry, inquisition, interpellation, interrogative, interrogatory, investigation, issue, leader, leading question, moot point, point at issue, point in question, probing, problem, pumping, query, querying, question, question at issue, question mark, questioning, quiz, quizzing, quodlibet, seeking, third degree, topic, trial balloon, vexed question
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