ex·​am·​ine | \ ig-ˈza-mən How to pronounce examine (audio) \
examined; examining\ ig-​ˈzam-​niŋ How to pronounce examine (audio) , -​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

Other Words from examine

examinable \ ig-​ˈza-​mə-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce examine (audio) \ adjective
examiner \ ig-​ˈzam-​nər How to pronounce examine (audio) , -​ˈza-​mə-​ \ noun

Synonyms for examine


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web But the company does not examine what specific staffers are doing, said Joan Burke, the company’s head of human resources. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Moore said the review would specifically examine whether officers are giving less-lethal weapons enough time to stop people before resorting to firing live rounds — particularly in instances in which suspects do not have firearms. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 But she's felt vindicated by changes: The New York City Council last year passed legislation to create an advisory board to examine racial and gender discrimination in hospitals. Kate Brumback, ajc, 1 May 2022 But the Great Salt Lake’s record low last summer, along with the megadrought gripping the West, is causing more Utahns — and their lawmakers — to examine their water consumption habits. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 May 2022 So the center is partnering with the Alaska Native Sciences and Engineering Program to create a detailed 3-D scan for contemporary weavers and researchers to examine the techniques used more than a century ago. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 His first priority this summer will be revisiting a specialist in Los Angeles to examine options, which could include another round of injections or surgery. Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 Green has been under house arrest, living with a relative in Titusville, Florida, while the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has taken more than two years to examine his case. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 To examine the importance of catapulting, the scientists prevented 30 male spiders from catapulting by placing a fine brush on the back of the spiders. NBC News, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for examine

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near examine



examined copy

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Statistics for examine

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Examine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/examine. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for examine


ex·​am·​ine | \ ig-ˈza-mən How to pronounce examine (audio) \
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 How to pronounce examine (audio) \
examined; examining\ -​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce examine (audio) \

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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on examine

Nglish: Translation of examine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of examine for Arabic Speakers


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