scrupulous

adjective
scru·​pu·​lous | \ ˈskrü-pyə-ləs How to pronounce scrupulous (audio) \

Definition of scrupulous

1 : having moral integrity : acting in strict regard for what is considered right or proper
2 : punctiliously exact : painstaking working with scrupulous care

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Other Words from scrupulous

scrupulously adverb
scrupulousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scrupulous

upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable mean having or showing a strict regard for what is morally right. upright implies a strict adherence to moral principles. a stern and upright minister honest stresses adherence to such virtues as truthfulness, candor, or fairness. known for being honest in business dealings just stresses conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable. workers given just compensation conscientious and scrupulous imply an active moral sense governing all one's actions and painstaking efforts to follow one's conscience. conscientious in the completion of her assignments scrupulous in carrying out the terms of the will honorable suggests a firm holding to codes of right behavior and the guidance of a high sense of honor and duty. a difficult but honorable decision

careful, meticulous, scrupulous, punctilious mean showing close attention to detail. careful implies attentiveness and cautiousness in avoiding mistakes. a careful worker meticulous may imply either commendable extreme carefulness or a hampering finicky caution over small points. meticulous scholarship scrupulous applies to what is proper or fitting or ethical. scrupulous honesty punctilious implies minute, even excessive attention to fine points. punctilious observance of ritual

Did You Know?

Scrupulous and its close relative "scruple" ("an ethical consideration") come from the Latin noun scrupulus, the diminutive of "scrupus." "Scrupus" refers to a sharp stone, so scrupulus means "small sharp stone." "Scrupus" retained its literal meaning but eventually also came to be used with the metaphorical meaning "a source of anxiety or uneasiness," the way a sharp pebble in one's shoe would be a source of pain. When the adjective "scrupulous" entered the language in the 15th century, it meant "principled." Now it also commonly means "painstaking" or "careful."

Examples of scrupulous in a Sentence

While many assume that a conservative reading of the Constitution will lead inevitably to a conservative interpretation, Amar has argued, in scholarly articles and in a previous book, "The Bill of Rights," that paying scrupulous attention to the text, history and structure of the Constitution often reveals support for liberal outcomes. — James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review, 6 Nov. 2005 Most clients praise the lawyer effusively. Rubenstein declares that Grubman never represents both parties in any one matter, is scrupulous in disclosing his relations to all his clients and abides by the conflict rules of the legal profession. — Johnnie L. Roberts, Newsweek, 6 Aug. 2001 Tax-shelter proliferation has reached such epidemic proportions that it has actually spurred a backlash among the more conscientious members of the tax profession. A few scrupulous tax lawyers have anonymously leaked details of shelter schemes to the IRS. — Franklin Foer, New Republic, 5 June 2000 She was always scrupulous about her work. The work requires scrupulous attention to detail. Less scrupulous companies find ways to evade the law.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Onto brows, Young has a scrupulous technique for achieving natural-looking full arches, never subscribing to the trendy K-beauty shape of the moment. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "K-Pop Star Tiffany Young Breaks Down Her 18-Step Beauty Routine," 6 Mar. 2019 The combination of limited funding for academic fieldwork, spectacular new discoveries, complicated foreign laws and widespread political corruption continues to set up a thorny trap even for the most scrupulous scientists. Richard Conniff, WSJ, "‘The Dinosaur Artist’ Review: Old Bones Are Big Business," 6 Sep. 2018 Giant cosmetic companies such as Coty and Estée Lauder write huge checks to storied fragrance agencies, which will employ meticulous perfume chemists, scrupulous in the art of aromachology. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Is AI the future of perfume? IBM is betting on it.," 24 Oct. 2018 More cautious banks may react slowly to opportunities and lose out to less scrupulous, or less regulated, rivals. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Banks Are Getting Squeezed by the Fight Against Dirty Money," 5 Oct. 2018 Public health officials and worried parents aren’t the only ones watching Juul closely: the company’s competitors are, too, and some may be less scrupulous than others. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Juul’s nicotine salts are dominating the market — and other companies want in," 21 Nov. 2018 Her daughter Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, meanwhile, had brought its own changes—and, in some instances (those faux lapis lazuli columns, for instance), scrupulous archeological restorations. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Inside Buckingham Palace’s Resplendent, Never-Before Seen Rooms," 4 Oct. 2018 From the highest levels, the agency is rightly embracing regulatory flexibility by combining a scrupulous review process with pragmatism. WSJ, "Patients Win With More Access to Treatments," 8 July 2018 Alain Locke led a life of scrupulous refinement and slashing contradiction. Tobi Haslett, The New Yorker, "The Man Who Led the Harlem Renaissance—and His Hidden Hungers," 11 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scrupulous

Middle English, from Latin scrupulosus, from scrupulus — see scruple entry 2

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Dictionary Entries near scrupulous

scrupler

scrupulist

scrupulosity

scrupulous

scrush

scrutable

scrutator

Statistics for scrupulous

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for scrupulous

The first known use of scrupulous was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for scrupulous

scrupulous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of scrupulous

: very careful about doing something correctly
: careful about doing what is honest and morally right

scrupulous

adjective
scru·​pu·​lous | \ ˈskrü-pyə-ləs How to pronounce scrupulous (audio) \

Kids Definition of scrupulous

: careful in doing what is right and proper

Other Words from scrupulous

scrupulously adverb

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