Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Interrogatories

Quick Summary of Interrogatories

Written questions designed to discover key facts about an opposing party’s case, that a party to a lawsuit asks an opposing party (but not a witness, who can only be questioned in person at a deposition). Interrogatories are part of the pretrial discovery stage of a lawsuit, and must be answered under penalty of perjury. Court rules tightly regulate how, when and how many interrogatories can be asked. Lawyers can write their own sets of questions, or can use form interrogatories, designed to cover typical issues in common lawsuits.

What is the dictionary definition of Interrogatories?

Dictionary Definition

In law, interrogatories are a formal set of written questions propounded by one litigant and required to be answered by an adversary in order to clarify matters of fact and help to determine in advance what facts will be presented at any trial in the case.

  1. legal A formal question submitted to opposing party to answer, generally governed by court rule.
  2. A question; an interrogation.

Full Definition of Interrogatories

Interrogatories are written questions used in civil trials to get information from the other party. They are part of the discovery process and must be answered truthfully. Interrogatories can generally be used as evidence to support motions for summary judgment.

The interrogatory or Request for Further Information, are questions which are given to the opposing party. The questions must be answered in writing and under oath. Generally, questions are limited to twenty-five and are used primarily to clarify background information about the litigants, the facts of the civil case, and what allegations each party is likely to present at the civil trial.

An interrogatory is not, however, used to gather evidence from a witness. Witness information is gathered through a deposition, under oath, where the opposing attorney asks the questions and tapes the process. The deposition can be used as evidence if the witness dies before the trial or if they provide information at trial which contradicts testimony previously made during the deposition.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Interrogatories. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 20, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Interrogatories. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 20, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Interrogatories. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Interrogatories are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 22nd April, 2020 | 1 Views.