peruse

verb
pe·​ruse | \ pə-ˈrüz How to pronounce peruse (audio) \
perused; perusing

Definition of peruse

transitive verb

1a : to examine or consider with attention and in detail : study
b : to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner
2 : read especially : to read over in an attentive or leisurely manner

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Other Words from peruse

perusal \ pə-​ˈrü-​zəl How to pronounce perusal (audio) \ noun
peruser noun

Synonyms for peruse

Synonyms

pore (over), read

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Did You Know?

Peruse has long been a literary word, used by such famous authors as Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Thomas Hardy, and it tends to have a literary flavor even in our time. Peruse can suggest paying close attention to something, but it can also simply mean "to read." The "read" sense, which is not especially new and was in fact included in Samuel Johnson's 1755 dictionary, has drawn some criticism over the years for being too broad. Some commentators have recommended that peruse be reserved for reading with great care and attention to detail. But the fact remains that peruse is often used in situations where a simple "read" definition could be easily substituted. It may suggest either an attentive read or a quick scan.

Examples of peruse in a Sentence

To refresh my memory of the old days, I asked for some Dailies of the thirties from the morgue, sat down at the large round oak table at the end of the editorial room on the second floor, and began riffling through the musty pages. Soon a burly middle-aged man appeared and seated himself at the table to peruse some recent issues of the paper and take notes. — Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987 I've even found myself idly perusing the Yellow Pages, not frantic for a plumber, just browsing. — Lesley Conger, Writer, October 1968 Bessie asked if I would have a book …  , and I begged her to fetch Gulliver's Travels from the library. This book I had again and again perused with delight. — Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847 He perused the newspaper over breakfast. perused the manuscript, checking for grammatical errors
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Recent Examples on the Web

Racks upon racks of discount merchandise greet you at the door of any thrift store, begging you to peruse and find some special gem that's just your size, style, and price point. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "How to Find the Best Stuff at Thrift Stores," 21 Feb. 2019 In the meantime, here are three more worthwhile maternity brands to peruse. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Hatch Dress and 3 Other Maternity Brands That Are Actually Chic," 11 Jan. 2019 Speaking of which, those actresses would be wise to peruse the upcoming auction. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Sharon Tate's Iconic Babydoll Wedding Dress Is Going Up for Auction," 1 Nov. 2018 My husband drew inspiration from watching TV cooking shows, reading cookbooks and perusing recipe websites. Anne Dunlap, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Appetite for learning? Check out these cooking classes," 27 Apr. 2018 Below, peruse 21 chic, alternative engagement rings that will mean the world to your lover—without breaking the bank. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "21 of the Most Stunning Unconventional Engagement Rings Under $1,000," 17 Jan. 2019 Head to their new SoHo shop for an afternoon perusing standout vintage. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "From Goop Lab to One Kings Lane: 8 New Design Destinations to Know," 7 Nov. 2018 How about perusing the largest collection of Tibetan Buddhist literature in the world? Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists”," 7 Oct. 2018 After perusing the hallways for about a minute, the bear exited the school and went back into the woods. Diana Bruk, Country Living, "Bear Caught Wandering Around Montana High School Like It's No Big Deal," 14 Oct. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peruse.' 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 peruse

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for peruse

Middle English, to use up, deal with in sequence, from Latin per- thoroughly + Middle English usen to use

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Statistics for peruse

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for peruse

The first known use of peruse was circa 1520

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More Definitions for peruse

peruse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of peruse

formal
: to look at or read (something) in an informal or relaxed way
: to examine or read (something) in a very careful way

peruse

verb
pe·​ruse | \ pə-ˈrüz How to pronounce peruse (audio) \
perused; perusing

Kids Definition of peruse

2 : to read through carefully

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More from Merriam-Webster on peruse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peruse

Spanish Central: Translation of peruse

Nglish: Translation of peruse for Spanish Speakers

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