intensive questioning or rough treatment, especially by the police, in order to get information or a confession.
the degree of master mason in Freemasonry.
Other definitions for third-degree (2 of 2)
to subject to the third degree.
of or relating to the third degree.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use third degree in a sentence
Bigamy, or having multiple active marriage licenses, is a third-degree felony in Utah.
It's a third-degree felony to tape someone without their permission in Florida.
Last week Florida brought third-degree felony hazing charges against 11 people, mostly students, in the death of Champion.FAMU ‘Marching 100’ Case Raises Veil on Secret Hazing Rituals | Allison Samuels | May 8, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Tarnopolski was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct—an offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
As a teenager, a magnesium flare exploded and left 70 percent of his body covered in third-degree burns.
I had one terrible time in third-degree stuff and have put him away for the night.Dreamy Hollow | Sumner Charles Britton
And that's the only reason why the so-called third-degree inquisitions are to be tolerated.Dreamy Hollow | Sumner Charles Britton
Hence it is that we are all meaters, perforce, but not all of us are third-degree-removed cannibals.Fletcherism | Horace Fletcher
British Dictionary definitions for third degree
informal torture or bullying, esp used to extort confessions or information
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with third degree
Intensive questioning or rough treatment used to obtain information or a confession, as in The detectives gave her the third degree, or Jim gave her the third degree when she came home so late. This term comes from freemasonry, where a candidate receives the third or highest degree, that of master mason, upon passing an intensive test. Dating from the 1770s, the phrase was transferred to other kinds of interrogation in the late 1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.