1 : having moral integrity : acting in strict regard for what is considered right or proper
2 : punctiliously exact : painstaking
"As a child, I somehow absorbed the idea that getting in the way of other people or wasting their time was a terrible offense. I have been scrupulous about standing to the right on escalators, not blocking aisles, not showing up late." — Rebecca Solnit, Harper's, July 2017
"Don't do business on the side with an elected official who can benefit your clients by lowering their property assessments. But if you do, be absolutely scrupulous about filling out every disclosure form. Or you'll look like you're trying to hide something—and maybe you are." — The Chicago Sun-Times, 27 July 2017
Did You Know?
Scrupulous and its close relative scruple ("an ethical consideration or principle") come from the Latin noun scrupulus, the diminutive of scrupus. Scrupus refers to a sharp stone, so scrupulus means "a 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, it meant "principled," but now it also commonly means "painstaking" or "careful."
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Antonym
Fill in the blanks to complete an antonym of scrupulous: _ nc _ _ s _ _ o _ a _ _ e.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP