What Is Asking a Question You Know the Answer to Called?

What is it called when someone asks a question even though they sneakily know the answer? Well, we’re doing it right now!

Down below, we’ve compiled a list of words and phrases that describe when a person asks a question insincerely. So, read on to learn more!

What Is It Called When You Ask a Question You Already Know the Answer To?

  • Rhetorical question
  • Leading question
  • Disingenuous
  • Hypothetical question
  • Confirmation bias
  • Testing the water


  • You might ask a “rhetorical question” to make a point, even if you already know the answer or know there isn’t one.
  • Attorneys often use “leading questions” to trick someone into admitting something in court.
  • One word to describe when a person asks a question they actually know the answer to is to call that question “disingenuous.”

Stick around! Next up, we’ll discuss our favorite words and phrases for asking a question you know the answer to.

Furthermore, we’ll show you what these kinds of questions might look like, and use each of our chosen phrases in some example sentences.

Rhetorical Question

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a “rhetorical question” is “a question, asked in order to make a statement, that does not expect an answer.”

In other words, you may ask a “rhetorical question” because you want to make a certain point. Alternatively, you can ask a question that you know has no real answer just to express your feelings about things.

Therefore, we can describe a “rhetorical question” as asking a question you know the answer to, or one that you know has no real answer.

Let’s see what a “rhetorical question” might look like in a few examples:

Person 1: Why does this always happen to me?

Person 2: I assume that’s a rhetorical question; I don’t know what kind of cosmic enemies you’ve made.

Who wouldn’t want to be as rich as me? That’s a rhetorical question; you can lower your hand, sir.

Leading Question

Generally, you would ask a “leading question” if you already believe something and want to push the other person to respond in a way that confirms what you believe. Or, what you want others to believe.

After all, the Cambridge Dictionary defines a “leading question” as “a question that tricks someone into answering in a particular way.”

You’ll find that attorneys usually ask “leading questions” during cross-examination in court in order to get the other person to slip up and admit to something.

Therefore, a “leading question” is when you ask a question you already know the answer to or already believe.

Let’s see an example or two:

Person 1: Mr. Shein, you and the deceased had an argument shortly before he was announced missing, didn’t you?

Person 2: Objection, your honor; that is a blatantly leading question.

That was a bit of a leading question, so I assume you believe you already know the answer.


When you ask a question with an obvious answer, you may be being “disingenuous.”

The Collins dictionary defines “disingenuous” as “slyly deceptive or misleading, typically by means of a pretense of ignorance or unawareness.”

Therefore, a person might ask a question “disingenuously” and pretend to be truly unaware of the answer. However, they actually have some ulterior motive behind asking it. Perhaps they are trying to make a point or throw someone else under the bus.

Let’s see an example of a “disingenuous” question:

I can’t imagine what kind of person would steal from a donation box. Jenny, did you say you were strapped for cash last week?

In this example, the question is actually an accusation that Jenny stole from the donation box. However, the speaker is framing it as a question to sound innocent and mislead others about their intent. Therefore, they are being “disingenuous.”

Now, let’s see how you can use “disingenuous” in a sentence or two:

She asked a very disingenuous question about where our proceeds go, so she clearly knows more than she lets on.

I’m tired of hearing his disingenuous questions; he’s only trying to undermine me in front of our colleagues.