Definition of cross-examine in English:

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[with object]
1Question (a witness called by the other party) in a court of law to discredit or undercut testimony already given. Compare with direct examination.
Example sentences
  • Her counsel also suggests, in cross-examining a prosecution eye witness, Gary, that he had been high on heroin on the night of the alleged murder and that his account of events was not therefore reliable.
  • The prosecution even declined to cross-examine the last defense witness.
  • This ruling should also be clear that I am not precluding the defence from cross-examining the third party on this issue.
1.1Question (someone) aggressively or in great detail: I was cross-examined over the breakfast table
More example sentences
  • Employing all the legalistic tricks of her trade, she probed and cross-examined me at breakfast and each evening.
  • The officer was cross-examined as to the detail of the conversation and conceded that the record in his notebook was far from full.
  • At times, it sounds like she is cross-examining him, although sometimes she is acknowledging she does have some fears about his alibis.
interrogate, question, cross-question, quiz, catechize, give someone the third degree



Example sentences
  • He emerges as a devastating cross-examiner ruthlessly unmasking for history the feebleness of the whole enterprise.
  • Like the skilled courtroom cross-examiner, he realizes that the question is often more important than the answer.
  • The cross-examiner's question related to the 12-month period prior to the trial.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cross-ex·am·ine

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