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 Even Republican governors who have been scrupulous about modeling safe behavior have been reticent about compelling it of others. Anchorage Daily News, "In a coronavirus response riven by politics, masks are latest Rorschach test," 12 May 2020 Being scrupulous about hygiene is a must: covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and then throwing them away. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Social distancing, self-isolation, shelter in place: A guide to the terms Bay Area residents may be using for months to come," 2 Apr. 2020 At a time when resources were scarce, Americans were scrupulous about preventing food waste, making banana bread a favorite. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, "Banana bread is having a moment," 2 May 2020 In even less scrupulous hands, this tool could be used to mobilize hatred. Wired Opinion, Wired, "Texts From Politicians Could Be More Dangerous Than Ever," 4 Apr. 2020 Being scrupulous about hygiene is a must: covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and then throwing them away. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Social distancing, self-isolation, shelter in place: A guide to the terms Bay Area residents may be using for months to come," 2 Apr. 2020 Being scrupulous about hygiene is a must: covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and then throwing them away. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Social distancing, self-isolation, shelter in place: A guide to the terms Bay Area residents may be using for months to come," 2 Apr. 2020 Being scrupulous about hygiene is a must: covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and then throwing them away. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Social distancing, self-isolation, shelter in place: A guide to the terms Bay Area residents may be using for months to come," 2 Apr. 2020 There are the scrupulous citizens who solemnly keep their distance, the flouters who dance with death like the calaveras of Mexico, and those who live in perpetual crisis and don’t believe that the virus has presented them with more to lose. Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scrupulous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scrupulous. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for scrupulous

scrupulous

adjective
How to pronounce scrupulous (audio)

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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