• synonyms


[in-ter-puh-ley-shuh n, in-tur-puh-]
  1. a procedure in some legislative bodies of asking a government official to explain an act or policy, sometimes leading, in parliamentary government, to a vote of confidence or a change of government.
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Origin of interpellation

1520–30; < Latin interpellātiōn- (stem of interpellātiō) interruption. See interpellate, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interpellation

Historical Examples of interpellation

  • See also the interpellation of M. Temme in the session of the 17th April, 1863.

    Two Chancellors

    Julian Klaczko

  • In May he made an interpellation on the governmental policy.

  • The Colonel replied to my interpellation with perfect candour.

  • The interpellation was addressed to a cabman a few yards away.

    Simon the Jester

    William J. Locke

  • The first gesture of the series is the interpellation, the entrance upon the scene.

Word Origin and History for interpellation


late 15c., "an appeal," from Latin interpellationem, noun of action from past participle stem of interpellare "to interrupt by speaking," from inter "between" (see inter-) + pellare, collateral form of pellere "to drive" (see pulse (n.1)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper