peruse

verb
pe·​ruse | \ pə-ˈrüz How to pronounce peruse (audio) \
perused; perusing

Definition of peruse

transitive verb

1a : to examine or consider with attention and in detail : study
b : to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner
2 : read especially : to read over in an attentive or leisurely manner

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from peruse

perusal \ pə-​ˈrü-​zəl How to pronounce perusal (audio) \ noun
peruser noun

Synonyms for peruse

Synonyms

pore (over), read

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Peruse has long been a literary word, used by such famous authors as Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Thomas Hardy, and it tends to have a literary flavor even in our time. Peruse can suggest paying close attention to something, but it can also simply mean "to read." The "read" sense, which is not especially new and was in fact included in Samuel Johnson's 1755 dictionary, has drawn some criticism over the years for being too broad. Some commentators have recommended that peruse be reserved for reading with great care and attention to detail. But the fact remains that peruse is often used in situations where a simple "read" definition could be easily substituted. It may suggest either an attentive read or a quick scan.

Examples of peruse in a Sentence

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In the print age, university library shelves were lined with journals, available for any researcher or – in the case of public universities like the University of California – any member of the public to peruse and learn from. Mackenzie Smith, The Conversation, "University of California’s showdown with the biggest academic publisher aims to change scholarly publishing for good," 15 July 2019 Attendees were welcome to flit between scientific discussions and a joint-rolling station, taste edibles on an outdoor patio or peruse psychedelic candles at the lobby pop-up shop. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "At Portland’s “Weed Prom,” Women Gathered to Celebrate and Strategize," 11 July 2019 Pour one out for Apple's 12-inch MacBook, get yourself a webcam cover, and get ready to peruse some portable grills. Alex Baker-whitcomb, WIRED, "Apple Kills the 12-Inch MacBook, a Webcam Hack, and More News," 9 July 2019 Find the restaurant closest to you on the interactive map, and peruse our themed guides. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Kevin Durant is Brooklyn-bound," 1 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter At Mitiga, the sole airport still serving Tripoli, Libya’s capital, Islamist militiamen peruse Western passports with an air of contempt. The Economist, "How airports explain the Arab world," 29 June 2019 But to Netflix subscribers who rarely peruse the site’s anime section, this level of hype — and the show itself — may seem inscrutable. Allegra Frank, Vox, "8 things to know about Neon Genesis Evangelion, the legendary anime now streaming on Netflix," 21 June 2019 Every season is filled with its fair share of styles that any woman can try, and now’s the time to peruse what’s new in swimwear, from casual cover-ups to body-hugging bikinis. Niki Mcgloster, Essence, "Swimwear to Slay All Day In," 1 July 2019 In advance of what's sure to be many major style moments, peruse (and probably bookmark) the slideshow of looks ahead. Landon Peoples, refinery29.com, "Only Selena Gomez Could Pull Off Pajamas And Heels On The Red Carpet," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peruse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of peruse

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for peruse

Middle English, to use up, deal with in sequence, from Latin per- thoroughly + Middle English usen to use

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about peruse

Listen to Our Podcast about peruse

Statistics for peruse

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for peruse

The first known use of peruse was circa 1520

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for peruse

peruse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of peruse

formal
: to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way
: to examine or read (something) in a very careful way

peruse

verb
pe·​ruse | \ pə-ˈrüz How to pronounce peruse (audio) \
perused; perusing

Kids Definition of peruse

2 : to read through carefully

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on peruse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peruse

Spanish Central: Translation of peruse

Nglish: Translation of peruse for Spanish Speakers

Comments on peruse

What made you want to look up peruse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!