Definition of scrupulous
- working with scrupulous care
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She was always scrupulous about her work.
The work requires scrupulous attention to detail.
Less scrupulous companies find ways to evade the law.
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.
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."
: very careful about doing something correctly
: careful about doing what is honest and morally right
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