verb ex·am·ine \ ig-ˈza-mən \
|Updated on: 15 Jul 2018

Definition of examine

examined; examining play \ig-ˈzam-niŋ, -ˈza-mə-\
1 a : to inspect closely
b : to test the condition of
c : to inquire into carefully : investigate
2 a : to interrogate closely
  • examine a prisoner
b : to test by questioning in order to determine progress, fitness, or knowledge
: to make or give an examination


play \ig-ˈza-mə-nə-bəl\ adjective


play \ig-ˈzam-nər, -ˈza-mə-\ noun

Examples of examine in a Sentence

  1. An accountant has been hired to examine the company's books.

  2. The police examined the evidence carefully.

  3. You should have your eyes examined.

  4. He was examined by several doctors, who found nothing wrong with him.

Recent Examples of examine from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of examine

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

EXAMINE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of examine for English Language Learners

  • : 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

EXAMINE Defined for Kids


verb ex·am·ine \ ig-ˈza-mən \

Definition of examine for Students

examined; examining
1 : to look at or check carefully
  • He had his eyes examined.
2 : to question closely
  • The police examined a witness.

Medical Dictionary


verb ex·am·ine \ ig-ˈzam-ən \

medical Definition of examine

examined; examining play \-(ə-)niŋ\
: to inspect or test for evidence of disease or abnormality
  • the doctor examined the young men and found them in perfect health
: to make or give an examination
  • the doctor will examine at the infirmary

Law Dictionary


transitive verb ex·am·ine

legal Definition of examine

examined; examining
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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