from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of examining or the state of being examined.
  • n. A set of questions or exercises testing knowledge or skill.
  • n. A formal interrogation: examination of the witness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of examining.
  • n. Particularly, an inspection by a medical professional to establish the extent and nature of any sickness or injury.
  • n. A formal test involving answering written or oral questions with no or limited access to text books or the like.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of examining, or state of being examined; a careful search, investigation, or inquiry; scrutiny by study or experiment.
  • n. A process prescribed or assigned for testing qualification.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of examining, or the state of being examined; scrutiny by inquiry, study, or experiment; careful search and investigation into parts, qualities, conditions, and relations, for the purpose of ascertaining the truth and the real state of things; inspection by observation, interrogation, or trial: as, examination of a ship or a machine; examination of the books of a firm; examination of one's mental condition; examination of a wound, or of a theory or thesis.
  • n. In legal proceedings: An inquiry into facts by evidence; an attempt to ascertain truth by questioning: as, the examination of a witness.
  • n. In criminal law, in particular, an inquiry conducted by a magistrate before whom a prisoner is brought charged with crime, to ascertain whether he should be held, bailed, or discharged.
  • n. The result of judicial inquiries; testimony taken and duly reduced to writing.
  • n. A process prescribed or assigned for testing the qualifications, capabilities, knowledge, experience, or progress of a person who is a candidate for some position or rank in a profession, occupation, school or other organization, etc.: as, the examination of a candidate for admission to the ministry or bar; the periodical examination of a school.
  • n. Trial or assay by the appropriate methods or tests, as of minerals or chemical compounds.
  • n. Synonyms Examínation, Inquiry, Investigation, Inquisition, Scrutiny, Search, Research, Inspection; overhauling, probing, canvassing. Examination is the general word; where it is applied to any work of severity, thoroughness, etc., the fact is expressed by a strong adjective or other modifier: as, a superficial, thorough, brief, protracted, or searching examination into facts, into a question, of a candidate, or of a locality or premises. Inquiry is made by asking questions, but figuratively by study or investigation: as, an inquiry into the value of circumstantial evidence. An investigation is an examination long enough, systematic enough, and minute enough to be thorough. An inquisition is something still more thorough and searching than an investigation, implying vigor with severity; in modern times it generally implies a somewhat hostile spirit, or that from which the person concerned would shrink. Scrutiny is primarily a close examination with the eye: as, the scrutiny of one's features, of a manuscript, of a field of vision; but it is also a critical examination by the mind: as, the careful scrutiny of evidence. Search is the effort to find primarily that which may be seen, but secondarily that which may be apprehended by the mind: as, the search for a lost coin, or for a clue to a mystery. Research is search only of the second class above, and in out-of-the-way fields of knowledge: as, archæological research. Inspection, literally a looking into, is sometimes a rather general word and equivalent to examination; but more often it implies an official examination: as, an inspection of work done under contract; the sanitary inspection of a jail, or of a ship just come into port.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. formal systematic questioning
  • n. a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge
  • n. a detailed inspection of your conscience (as done daily by Jesuits)
  • n. the act of giving students or candidates a test (as by questions) to determine what they know or have learned
  • n. the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Swiss himself, you know, and that kind of self examination is so frowned upon there.

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  • Professional scifi's addiction to failing in examination of race issues

    looking back.


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