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 Not everyone, however, is so scrupulous about safety. Jenny Gold, chicagotribune.com, "More vapers are making their own juice, but not without risks," 15 Nov. 2019 Brackenbury said the new contract, which took effect Tuesday, was awarded to Block by Block after scrupulous, public consideration of price, value, service, and references. BostonGlobe.com, "Greenway cuts ties with Dorchester nonprofit after 10 years - The Boston Globe," 7 Oct. 2019 Not everyone, however, is so scrupulous about safety. Jenny Gold, chicagotribune.com, "More vapers are making their own juice, but not without risks," 15 Nov. 2019 Not everyone, however, is so scrupulous about safety. NBC News, "More vapers are making their own juice, but not without risks," 13 Nov. 2019 Meir was scrupulous about the custom and frequently corresponded with bereaved families both privately and officially. Marcy Oster, sun-sentinel.com, "Golda Meir’s Yom Kippur letter to bereaved families has been discovered," 8 Oct. 2019 The script is scrupulous in paying homage to other pioneers — including women of color such as Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Florynce Kennedy and Wilma Mankiller — who served on multiple ideological front lines. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "History Theatre’s ‘Gloria: A Life’ is an affectionate tribute to feminist icon," 30 Sep. 2019 Two-and-a-half years into the administration, journalists, scrupulous and un, are driven by palace intrigue. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is There a Right Way to Cover the Trump White House?," 6 June 2019 One of the many fascinating dimensions of Sontag, Benjamin Moser’s new biography, is its scrupulous attention to Sontag’s futile struggle to reconcile mind and body. Leslie Jamison, The New Republic, "The Remaking of Susan Sontag," 12 Sep. 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Scrupulous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scrupulousness. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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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