scrutinize

verb
scru·​ti·​nize | \ ˈskrü-tə-ˌnīz How to pronounce scrutinize (audio) \
scrutinized; scrutinizing

Definition of scrutinize

transitive verb

: to examine closely and minutely

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Other Words from scrutinize

scrutinizer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scrutinize

scrutinize, scan, inspect, examine mean to look at or over. scrutinize stresses close attention to minute detail. scrutinized the hospital bill scan implies a surveying from point to point often suggesting a cursory overall observation. scanned the wine list inspect implies scrutinizing for errors or defects. inspected my credentials examine suggests a scrutiny in order to determine the nature, condition, or quality of a thing. examined the specimens

Scrutinize This Word's Etymology

A close look at the etymology of scrutinize reveals that the word stems from the Latin verb scrutari (meaning "to search" or "to examine"), which in turn probably comes from scruta (meaning "trash," or more specifically "a mixture of worthwhile articles and trash"). In the 15th century scrutari gave us the noun scrutiny, a word that originally meant "a formal vote" and then "an official examination of votes." Scrutinize retained reference to voting, with the meaning "to examine votes," at least into the 18th century-and even today in Britain a scrutineer is a person who counts votes.

Examples of scrutinize in a Sentence

I closely scrutinized my opponent's every move. Her performance was carefully scrutinized by her employer.
Recent Examples on the Web The sides of the road nearby were lined with trucks and trailers, rows of boats were tied up at the piers and a team of enforcement officers seemed to be scrutinizing every shellfish that hit the dock. al, "’Like Christmas:’ Alabama’s oyster harvest winds down," 12 Feb. 2020 Guy Verhofstadt, the leading EU lawmaker on Brexit, said the bloc's parliament would continue to scrutinize the way Britain implemented the divorce agreement. Fox News, "Britain's Brexit bill becomes law," 24 Jan. 2020 The current and future property tax rate and debt burden need to be scrutinized, which is frequently disclosed in a district’s service plan. Sam Mamet, The Denver Post, "Mamet: Enhance oversight and accountability of metro districts," 20 Dec. 2019 The report is the most recent government study to analyze Chinese intellectual property theft on college campuses and to scrutinize the shortcomings of government agencies in addressing the problem. Time, "U.S. Failing to Stop China From Stealing Research: Report," 19 Nov. 2019 If foie gras is to be outlawed because of alleged cruelty to animals, lots of other animal products on New York tables are going to be scrutinized. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Joker in New York City Hall," 1 Nov. 2019 And now some police-reform advocates argue that recent technological advances mean these cameras are increasingly used not to scrutinize police, but to surveil the public. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "Did Body Cameras Backfire?," 1 Nov. 2019 The company’s treatment of its workforce is still constantly being scrutinized, and will demand greater attention as Tesla pushes into new regions like China in 2019. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 Dec. 2018 Others will scrutinize Hawking’s and Hertog’s invocation of the dimension-changing relation. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Stephen Hawking’s (almost) last paper: putting an end to the beginning of the universe," 2 May 2018

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

1671, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for scrutinize

Time Traveler

The first known use of scrutinize was in 1671

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scrutinize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scrutinize. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for scrutinize

scrutinize

verb
How to pronounce scrutinize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scrutinize

: to examine (something) carefully especially in a critical way

scrutinize

verb
scru·​ti·​nize | \ ˈskrü-tə-ˌnīz How to pronounce scrutinize (audio) \
scrutinized; scrutinizing

Kids Definition of scrutinize

: to examine very closely … I stood still and scrutinized the place where I'd seen movement.— Avi, Crispin

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