Simple Definition of peruse
: to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way
: to examine or read (something) in a very careful way
Examples of peruse
To refresh my memory of the old days, I asked for some Dailies of the thirties from the morgue, sat down at the large round oak table at the end of the editorial room on the second floor, and began riffling through the musty pages. Soon a burly middle-aged man appeared and seated himself at the table to peruse some recent issues of the paper and take notes. —Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987
I've even found myself idly perusing the Yellow Pages, not frantic for a plumber, just browsing. —Lesley Conger, Writer, October 1968
Bessie asked if I would have a book … , and I begged her to fetch Gulliver's Travels from the library. This book I had again and again perused with delight. —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847
He perused the newspaper over breakfast.
<perused the manuscript, checking for grammatical errors>
Origin of peruse
Middle English, to use up, deal with in sequence, from Latin per- thoroughly + Middle English usen to use
First Known Use: 1532
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