fine-tooth comb


: a comb with close-set teeth used especially for clearing parasites or foreign matter from the hair
: an attitude or system of thorough searching or scrutinizing
went over the report with a fine-tooth comb

Examples of fine-tooth comb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Novak takes a fine-tooth comb to every social interaction, a habit that makes for brilliant comedy but exasperating real-life exchanges. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, 15 Jan. 2024 On Reddit and Lipstick Alley message boards, readers questioned Millz’s authenticity with a fine-tooth comb. Jason Parham, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 The Moon is marching into your 2nd House of Earned Income, making this the perfect day to go over your accounts with a fine-tooth comb and make sure that everything is on the up-and-up. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 So the forensic folks are going to go through that, all those locations, with a fine-tooth comb. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 15 July 2023 Go over your resume with a fine-tooth comb. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 28 June 2021 That being said, a fine-tooth comb is terrific at finishing and setting styles, too—like taming flyaways or coaching things into shape (after the beard brush and/or wide-tooth comb has done most of the lifting). Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 29 Oct. 2022 Today, knowing that any big performance is only real once someone goes over it with a fine-tooth comb is a simple reality of the sport. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 7 Feb. 2022 The ratings are a blunt instrument; Paul is a fine-tooth comb. Brett Owens, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fine-tooth comb was in 1836

Dictionary Entries Near fine-tooth comb

Cite this Entry

“Fine-tooth comb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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