fine-tooth comb

\ ˈfīn-ˌtüth- How to pronounce fine-tooth comb (audio) \

Definition of fine-tooth comb

1 : a comb with close-set teeth used especially for clearing parasites or foreign matter from the hair
2 : 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 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 Everything from their laughably slow pandemic walks to their kissing style is dissected with a fine-tooth comb. Ryan Young, Glamour, 6 Oct. 2021 Employees with medical or religious reasons to remain unvaccinated can submit a form requesting exemption – but that process is involved, in some cases, and institutions are going through each request with a fine-tooth comb. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 21 Sep. 2021 Go over the bills with a fine-tooth comb and take care of loose ends. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2021 The best way to style your edge is to start with a toothbrush or a fine-tooth comb or even an edge brush. Jada Jackson, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Aug. 2021 Place your dog on a white towel, and go over him with a fine-tooth comb to check for any little bumps that might be feeding ticks. Star Tribune, 18 June 2021 Take a fine-tooth comb and carefully inspect your pets’ coat, looking closely for fleas in all of their forms: eggs, larvae, and adults. Natalie Schumann, Country Living, 20 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fine-tooth comb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fine-tooth comb

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About fine-tooth comb

Time Traveler for fine-tooth comb

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near fine-tooth comb

fine stuff

fine-tooth comb


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fine-tooth comb

Cite this Entry

“Fine-tooth comb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!