give (someone) the third degree

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give (someone) the third degree

To interrogate, scrutinize, or question someone intensely or thoroughly. My boyfriend is so controlling, always giving me the third degree if I go anywhere or see anyone without him. The police gave me the third degree regarding my whereabouts during the crime.
See also: degree, give, third

give someone the third degree

If someone gives you the third degree, they ask you a lot of questions in a determined manner. He told the operator his wife was having a baby on the pavement. The operator gave him the third degree to make sure he was serious. The interviewer didn't exactly give her the third degree.
See also: degree, give, someone, third
References in periodicals archive ?
And there was The Stick, a substantial bamboo cane which he kept in his room or about his person - down his trouser-leg, sometimes tucked up the sleeve of his gown - and then there were the fearful questions he was likely to shoot at you, muscling you into a crevice as he gave you the third degree on sight.