ex·am·ine | \ ig-ˈza-mən \
examined; examining\ig-ˈzam-niŋ, -ˈza-mə- \

Definition of examine 

transitive verb

1a : to inspect closely

b : to test the condition of

c : to inquire into carefully : investigate

2a : to interrogate closely examine a prisoner

b : to test by questioning in order to determine progress, fitness, or knowledge

intransitive verb

: to make or give an examination

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Other words from examine

examinable \ig-ˈza-mə-nə-bəl \ adjective
examiner \ig-ˈzam-nər, -ˈza-mə- \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for examine

scrutinize, scan, inspect, examine mean to look at or over. scrutinize stresses close attention to minute detail. scrutinized the hospital bill scan implies a surveying from point to point often suggesting a cursory overall observation. scanned the wine list inspect implies scrutinizing for errors or defects. inspected my credentials examine suggests a scrutiny in order to determine the nature, condition, or quality of a thing. examined the specimens

Examples of examine in a Sentence

An accountant has been hired to examine the company's books. The police examined the evidence carefully. You should have your eyes examined. He was examined by several doctors, who found nothing wrong with him.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The secretary of state is also examining right now whether a Medicaid expansion proposal has enough signatures for a public vote, meaning Idahoans could weigh in on two statewide ballot measures this fall. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Idaho will vote this fall on legalizing horse-race gambling machines," 10 July 2018 One other way to look at the prospects who become so ballyhooed at this time of year is by examining the Phillies’ past. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Want Manny Machado on the Phillies? Don't get attached to prospects | Bob Brookover," 6 July 2018 The DeepMind network develops its own similar intuition simply by examining a bunch of images from similar scenes. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google researchers created an amazing scene-rendering AI," 29 June 2018 The shoes are designed to help an athlete play better by examining how the body interacts with the ground and the forces between them. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Athalonz's Tim Markison helping make sports 'healthy for the future'," 28 June 2018 Lower your standard of living Adjusting your standard of living is difficult for anyone to do, but a good place to start is by examining your budget, says Matthew Gaffey, a senior wealth manager with Corbett Road Wealth Management. Robert Powell, USA TODAY, "8 steps to building a better nest egg for your retirement years," 27 June 2018 Alford structures the book by examining different functions of dance, as related, for example, to rebellion, to emotion, to nostalgia, to healing. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, "'And Then We Danced,' 'Old in Art School,' tell of later-in-life creative endeavors," 21 June 2018 But reconceiving media by examining the viewer’s specific behavior and degree of intention can elevate the quality of existing offerings and spur the creation of novel formats. Daniel H. Pink, The Atlantic, "The Future of Television Is Being Able to Pick Shows by Length," 11 June 2018 By examining data spanning nearly three Martian years (six Earth years), Webster and his colleagues discerned the first repeating pattern in Martian methane. Sarah Kaplan, BostonGlobe.com, "Newest NASA discoveries could boost search for ancient life on Mars," 8 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of examine

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for examine

Middle English, from Anglo-French examiner, from Latin examinare, from examen

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Phrases Related to examine

examining room

have one's head examined

Statistics for examine

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for examine

The first known use of examine was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for examine



English Language Learners Definition of examine

: to look at (something) closely and carefully in order to learn more about it, to find problems, etc.

: to test or look carefully at (something or someone) for signs of illness or injury

law : to question (someone) closely


ex·am·ine | \ ig-ˈza-mən \
examined; examining

Kids Definition of examine

1 : to look at or check carefully He had his eyes examined.

2 : to question closely The police examined a witness.


ex·am·ine | \ ig-ˈzam-ən \
examined; examining\-(ə-)niŋ \

Medical Definition of examine 

transitive verb

: to inspect or test for evidence of disease or abnormality the doctor examined the young men and found them in perfect health

intransitive verb

: to make or give an examination the doctor will examine at the infirmary

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transitive verb
examined; examining

Legal Definition of examine 

1 : to investigate or inspect closely examine the title — compare audit

2 : to question closely especially in a court proceeding — compare depose

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