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cross-examination n: the examination of a witness who has already testified in order to check or discredit the witness's testimony, knowledge, or credibility see also confrontation clause compare direct examination , recross-examination , redirect examination NOTE: In accordance with Rule 611 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, cross-examination should only refer to matters that were covered during direct examination or that are relevant to the witness's credibility. Anything exceeding these limits is permissible at the court's discretion. Rule 611 also states that “ordinarily leading questions should be permitted on cross-examination.”
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.