examine

verb

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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to make or give an examination
examinable adjective
examiner
ig-ˈza-mə-nər How to pronounce examine (audio)
-ˈzam-nər
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.
Recent Examples on the Web This article examines various innovative technical approaches and their limitations that can better harmonize user privacy with effective content moderation. George Ng, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Ducky examining the body of Vance’s old friend Tyler Owens, who may or may not have switched identities with Vance decades ago. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 20 Feb. 2024 The six-episode series examines what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they are caught. Andrew Torgan, CNN, 18 Feb. 2024 In the tenth of a series of position reviews, the Miami Herald will examine the team’s safety situation. Daniel Oyefusi, Miami Herald, 18 Feb. 2024 Across its four previous episodes, the show has examined its protagonists’ confusion, self-destruction, and despair, creating an intimate portrait of how geographic rootlessness can yield paralyzing melancholy. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 16 Feb. 2024 Patterson is one of the first Missouri Republicans to acknowledge a need to examine the state’s gun laws in the wake of the shooting. Kacen Bayless, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Psychedelics are becoming so mainstream that the Department of Veterans Affairs is examining the use of MDMA — also known as ecstasy — and psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, to fight post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 In the study, Middleton and the team examined the wax of a blueberry using an electron microscope. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'examine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near examine

Cite this Entry

“Examine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/examine. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

examine

verb
ex·​am·​ine ig-ˈzam-ən How to pronounce examine (audio)
examined; examining
1
: to look at or check carefully
examine a company's books
have your eyes examined
2
: to question closely
examine a witness
examiner noun

Medical Definition

examine

verb
ex·​am·​ine ig-ˈzam-ən How to pronounce examine (audio)
examined; examining -(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce examine (audio)

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

Legal Definition

examine

transitive verb
ex·​am·​ine
examined; examining
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

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