of, relating to, or conveying a question.
Grammar. forming, constituting, or used in or to form a question: an interrogative pronoun, suffix, particle, or sentence.


Grammar. an interrogative word, element, or construction, as who? and what?

Origin of interrogative

From the Late Latin word interrogātīvus, dating back to 1510–20. See interrogate, -ive
Related formsin·ter·rog·a·tive·ly, adverbun·in·ter·rog·a·tive, adjectiveun·in·ter·rog·a·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for interrogative

questioning, curious, inquisitive

Examples from the Web for interrogative

Historical Examples of interrogative

  • Calendar paused, interrogative; Kirkwood remained interested but silent.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • The accent was interrogative, although it was plain that only one answer was expected.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • But coming out of my stateroom with an interrogative “Mr. Jacobus?”

  • What Inflection is placed on the Interrogative sentence in Par.

  • At last, he caught the idea of location—but it was location in the interrogative!

    Islands of Space

    John W Campbell

British Dictionary definitions for interrogative



asking or having the nature of a question
denoting a form or construction used in asking a question
denoting or belonging to a class of words, such as which and whom, that are determiners, adjectives, or pronouns and serve to question which individual referent or referents are intendedCompare demonstrative, relative


an interrogative word, phrase, sentence, or construction
a question mark
Derived Formsinterrogatively, adverb
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 interrogative

c.1500, from Late Latin interrogativus "pertaining to a question," from Latin interrogat-, past participle stem of interrogare (see interrogation) + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper