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 Experts say the move means every international financial transaction with Pakistan will be closely scrutinized and doing business in Pakistan will become costly and cumbersome. Fox News, "Pakistan avoids terror financing blacklist _ for now," 18 Oct. 2019 Sanders’ health will also be scrutinized at the debate. Philip Elliott / Columbus, Time, "Younger Candidates Hope to Edge out Front-Runners at the Democratic Debate," 16 Oct. 2019 When Powell speaks Tuesday afternoon at an economics conference in Denver, his remarks will be scrutinized for any hints of the Fed’s next steps. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fed’s odd dilemma: Low unemployment but pressure to do more," 8 Oct. 2019 Biden for the first time will be sharing a stage with Warren, and the interaction between the two will be closely scrutinized because of the policy differences and historic conflicts that have pitted him against the progressive firebrand. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "5 things to watch for in the Democratic debate on Thursday," 12 Sep. 2019 Playing now alongside King James in the glare of the league’s brightest spotlight, Davis has to brace for the reality that every sneeze will be scrutinized. Marc Stein, New York Times, "For Gregg Popovich, the FIBA World Cup Is Personal," 10 Sep. 2019 The boat’s design also will be scrutinized, particularly whether a bunk room escape hatch was adequate. J.d. Morris,, "Agents search Santa Barbara office of owner of dive boat that burned," 8 Sep. 2019 They'll be closely scrutinized given that the company is reportedly reviving plans for its initial public offering, which could be the biggest in history. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "How bad is the trade war? This week will provide some clues," 11 Aug. 2019 The companies involved could be charged with knowingly hiring workers who are in the county illegally and will be scrutinized for tax, document and wage fraud, Albence said. Rogelio V. Solis, Jeff Amy, Anchorage Daily News, "Largest US immigration raids in a decade net 680 arrests," 8 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for scrutinize

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for scrutinize

The first known use of scrutinize was in 1671

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More Definitions for scrutinize


How to pronounce scrutinize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scrutinize

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


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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