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 That often pushes her into substandard housing from even less scrupulous landlords, many of whom jack up rents knowing their tenants have nowhere else to go. Bryce Covert, The New Republic, "Why Landlords Target Mothers for Eviction," 16 Mar. 2021 The regulations were the product of scrupulous adherence to the formal rulemaking process. Candice Jackson, National Review, "Why Does Joe Biden Hate Due Process?," 25 Mar. 2021 In the archives of the Royal Society and the pages of the Gentleman’s Magazine, Scribner found serious correspondence, expressed in the most scrupulous scientific terms, identifying any number of life forms with the mermaid of myths. Marina Warner, The New York Review of Books, "Splash," 9 Mar. 2021 Neel pays scrupulous attention to details other artists might gloss over—swollen veins, enlarged nipples, mottled legs. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Artist Alice Neel Found Beauty in Her Neighborhood," 12 Mar. 2021 Lee is an important biographer who has written scrupulous lives of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather and Penelope Fitzgerald. New York Times, "‘Tom Stoppard’ Tells of an Enormous Life Spent in Constant Motion," 15 Feb. 2021 Among American avant-garde painters, Guston was the most scrupulous about questioning the premises of abstraction. Washington Post, "Philip Guston’s art speaks to our present moment. We shouldn’t have to wait to see it.," 14 Jan. 2021 The coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA, along with all companies and industries, to take a more scrupulous look at its finances. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Commissioner Adam Silver on possible NBA expansion: 'Sort of the manifest destiny of the league'," 22 Dec. 2020 On the face of it, scrupulous adherence to the law is a victory for the cause of humane war. Anand Gopal, The New Yorker, "America’s War on Syrian Civilians," 14 Dec. 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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scrupulous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scrupulous. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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