[kraws-ig-zam-in, kros-]
See more synonyms for cross-examine on
verb (used with object), cross-ex·am·ined, cross-ex·am·in·ing.
  1. to examine by questions intended to check a previous examination; examine closely or minutely.
  2. Law. to examine (a witness called by the opposing side), as for the purpose of discrediting the witness's testimony.

Origin of cross-examine

First recorded in 1655–65
Related formscross-ex·am·i·na·tion, nouncross-ex·am·in·er, nounun·cross-ex·am·ined, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cross-examination

Contemporary Examples of cross-examination

Historical Examples of cross-examination

  • But no occasion arose for either defiance or cross-examination.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Really, Sir Terence, if my word is not sufficient, I refuse to submit to cross-examination.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Alden Lytton read it, and then recommenced his cross-examination of the minister.

    Victor's Triumph

    Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

  • I own that I did not feel easy under this cross-examination.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • They'd have it out on the cross-examination, at all events, if not on the direct.


    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for cross-examination


verb (tr)
  1. law to examine (a witness for the opposing side), as in attempting to discredit his testimonyCompare examine-in-chief
  2. to examine closely or relentlessly
Derived Formscross-examination, nouncross-examiner, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cross-examination

also cross examination; 1827, "an examination of a witness by the other side, to 'check' the effects of previous questioning," from cross (adj.) + examination. Related: Cross-examine (1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper