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 Some lawmakers grumbled about being given only five hours in Parliament to scrutinize a 1,200-page deal that will mean profound changes for Britain’s economy and society. Fox News, "British lawmakers approve post-Brexit trade deal with EU," 31 Dec. 2020 That’s why lenders to students scrutinize expected career payoffs, said Jeannie Tarkenton, co-founder and CEO of the private student loan company Funding U — not to bankroll only high earners, but to make sure the debt-to-earnings ratio makes sense. Washington Post, "More info is available about which college majors pay off, but students aren’t using it," 25 Dec. 2020 Others provide analytics, allowing website operators to scrutinize how people are using their websites. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "GitHub CEO: We’re nuking all tracking ‘cookies’ and you should too," 17 Dec. 2020 Diederik Kruijssen, an astronomer at Heidelberg University in Germany, used galaxy simulations to train a neural network to scrutinize globular clusters. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, "The New History of the Milky Way," 15 Dec. 2020 Japan has once again retrieved samples from a distant asteroid, which scientists will scrutinize for clues about the ancient delivery of water and organic molecules to Earth. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Japan’s Hayabusa2 capsule lands with carbon-rich asteroid samples," 7 Dec. 2020 In that lawsuit, Trump’s campaign had complained that its observers had not been able to scrutinize mail-in ballots as they were being processed in two Democratic bastions, Philadelphia and Allegheny County, which is home to Pittsburgh. Marc Levy, Anchorage Daily News, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejects lawsuit challenging election," 29 Nov. 2020 There will be much to scrutinize Biden over in the years to come. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Biden's moment of truth," 12 Nov. 2020 Ministers will have 5 years to scrutinize transactions in the wider economy beyond the 17 sectors. Alex Morales, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. Announces Law to Protect Key Assets From Foreign Buyers," 11 Nov. 2020

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

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scrutinize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scrutinize. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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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