leading question


noun

  1. a question so worded as to suggest the proper or desired answer.

noun

  1. a question phrased in a manner that tends to suggest the desired answer, such as What do you think of the horrible effects of pollution?

An unfair question that is designed to guide the respondent: “You were drunk the night of the accident, weren’t you, Mr. Norris?” A question worded so as to elicit particular information or a particular answer, as in When are you selling the business? This example assumes that the person is going to sell the business, an action that may not have been established or revealed. This expression originated with a specific meaning in law, that is, “a question that guides a witness toward a desired answer.” In court, this practice is called leading a witness and is forbidden. [Mid-1800s]

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