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

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Other Words from examine

examinable \ ig-​ˈza-​mə-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce examinable (audio) \ adjective
examiner \ ig-​ˈzam-​nər How to pronounce examiner (audio) , -​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 Sunday's episode, Part 2, will examine how Armstrong's doping, deceit and bullying eventually helped bring him down. Editors, USA TODAY, "George Floyd protests, coronavirus reopenings, SpaceX Crew Dragon launch: 5 things to know this weekend," 30 May 2020 To be sure this approach would be effective, Ford turned to Ohio State University, where researchers examined the ability of high heat to destroy viruses in vehicles. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, "How to Disinfect a Police Car in a Pandemic: Make It an Oven," 30 May 2020 Computer science professor and author Cal Newport examines the debate in The New Yorker. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "I don’t like Section 230 either, but Trump’s attempt to remove it is still wrong," 29 May 2020 The zoo's arapaimas have been trained to hit a target with their mouths so they can be examined by veterinarians for routine checkups. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Zoo's large but shy arapaima fish needed coaxing from Onassis the turtle to move into Amazon tank," 29 May 2020 The still unsolved disappearance of Kyron Horman , the Portland boy who was 7 years old when he was reported missing on June 4, 2010, is examined again in a new special airing on the Investigation Discovery channel on Friday, May 29 at 9 p.m. oregonlive, "TV special explores case of Kyron Horman, Portland boy who disappeared in 2010: Time, TV channel, how to watch live online (5/29/2020)," 28 May 2020 That proposal now goes to Gov. Andy Beshear's office, where it will be examined and could be changed. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky State Fair Board, still hoping to party this summer, sends proposal to Beshear," 28 May 2020 Finding the middle ground requires examining the data and incorporating lessons learned. John Delaney, WSJ, "A False Dilemma Fuels the Lockdown Wars," 28 May 2020 Now Terrell looked at two types of air pollution: the PM 2.5 dust particles examined in the Harvard study and toxic chemicals listed in the EPA’s National Air Toxics Assessment. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "Covid-19 Flares Up in America's Polluted ‘Sacrifice Zones’," 26 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for examine

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for examine

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Examine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/examine. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for examine


How to pronounce examine (audio)

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 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 examining (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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on examine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for examine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with examine

Spanish Central: Translation of examine

Nglish: Translation of examine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of examine for Arabic Speakers

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