[kraws-ig-zam-in, kros-]

verb (used with object), cross-ex·am·ined, cross-ex·am·in·ing.

to examine by questions intended to check a previous examination; examine closely or minutely.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for cross-examine

Contemporary Examples of cross-examine

  • In the classroom and at work, people speak and write as if a hostile lawyer were about to cross-examine them.

    The Daily Beast logo
    An Argument Against Legal Extremism

    Eric Posner, Robert Silver

    February 17, 2009

Historical Examples of cross-examine

  • Now if you are one of my sort, I should like to cross-examine you, but if not I will let you alone.



  • Age is an ugly subject; she'd better not cross-examine her witnesses there.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • Warren declined to cross-examine Donnally, and he was excused.

    The Lost Despatch

    Natalie Sumner Lincoln

  • Warren refused to cross-examine the surgeon, and he was excused.

    The Lost Despatch

    Natalie Sumner Lincoln

  • And he proceeded to cross-examine Mwres on the entire affair.

    Tales of Space and Time

    Herbert George Wells

British Dictionary definitions for cross-examine


verb (tr)

law to examine (a witness for the opposing side), as in attempting to discredit his testimonyCompare examine-in-chief
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