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

Definition of scrutinize

transitive verb

: to examine closely and minutely

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. (But 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 That chamber also has not taken action yet on another House bill — one of Mariano’s top interests — that would give the state health commission more authority to scrutinize hospital expansion plans. Matt Stout,, 19 June 2022 Having the ability to scrutinize data, pinpoint relevant trends and ensure that data sources are reliable and trustworthy brings value to every position in an organization. Mike Capone, Forbes, 23 May 2022 Their fees are also untethered from SPAC performance, giving them less incentive to scrutinize potentially bad deals for investors. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 11 May 2022 However, two people in my office seem to scrutinize that calendar too closely for my comfort. Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2022 In recent years, powerful telescopes and innovative observational strategies have allowed researchers to more closely scrutinize dwarf galaxies. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 14 Mar. 2022 But the attorney called on jurors to closely scrutinize government witnesses, including another Three Percenter, Rocky Hardie, who is cooperating with the government as part of an immunity agreement. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2022 But officials have been reluctant to closely scrutinize the finances of nonprofit groups or to end contracts because the city is so reliant on the organizations. Amy Julia Harris, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 Over time, maintaining those facilities will require some form of investment, which could force the United States to scrutinize individual company decisions, said Ariel Cohen, a nonresident senior fellow at Atlantic Council, a think tank. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of scrutinize

1671, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of scrutinize was in 1671

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scrutinize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for scrutinize


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: The Cross of Lead

More from Merriam-Webster on scrutinize

Nglish: Translation of scrutinize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scrutinize for Arabic Speakers


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