Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To read or examine, typically with great care.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An examination or perusal; an instance of perusing.
  • v. To examine or consider with care.
  • v. To read completely.
  • v. To look over casually; to skim.
  • v. To go from place to place; to wander.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To observe; to examine with care.
  • transitive v. To read through; to read carefully.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To go through searchingly or carefully; run over with careful scrutiny; examine throughout or in detail; inspect; survey; scan; scrutinize.
  • To read through carefully or with attention.

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

  • v. examine or consider with attention and in detail

Etymologies

Middle English perusen, to use up : Latin per-, per- + Middle English usen, to use; see use.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From per-+use, from either Medieval Latin (peruti, perusitare ("wear out")) or Anglo-Norman (peruser ("use up")), originally leading two concurrent meanings, but only those derived from "to examine" survive today. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Navy Captain John Murphy, the lead prosecutor, told the court it was standard practice for the guards to "peruse" written material after a detainee spoke with his attorneys "for force protection."

    David Danzig: Khadr Case Goes Nowhere at Gitmo (Again)

  • Live pictures, again, you see the airboat right there as they kind of peruse these neighborhoods that are now been flooded with these rivers of water looking for folks to rescue.

    CNN Transcript Jun 7, 2008

  • However, "peruse" actually has the opposite meaning.

    Aspects of God?

  • [Footnote A: It was Miss Wooler who taught Charlotte to "peruse".]

    The Three Brontës

  • I, for one, always thought "peruse" was a rough synonym for

    Libertarian Blog Place

  • If you would like to "peruse" another article, perhaps you might be interested in my previous article.

    English-writing Israeli-bloggers

  • On the 22nd June the Chamberlain was instructed to prepare with all convenient speed four dozen good _splentes_ and as many good _sallettes_ or _sculles_ for the city’s use, and to cause a bowyer to "peruse" the city’s bows and to put them in such good order that they might be serviceable when required. (

    London and the Kingdom - Volume I

  • You love to peruse their status updates online, but just as a diet of only candy leaves you craving a real meal, those updates are meant to tide you over between interactions.

    Jodi R. R. Smith: Polite Resolutions

  • Those celebs who had not yet decided on their final gowns could peruse fashion designer Shekhar Rahate's haute couture Oscar collection, baubles from Amyn of Jewelry on 7th and purses from Timmy Woods handbags.

    Zorianna Kit: 2011 Academy Awards Gifting suites

  • I think I'll have to peruse the Kick Starter website ... jason b also, im kinda thinking this is THE definition of independant filmaking. like maybe what Sundance/the Spirit awards/project greenlight/etc USE to be about. sadly those days are long gone, but i'd like to think that there was a time when this is the energy & love for the craft that they use to support.

    Ryan vs. Dorkman Director Needs Your Help To Make His First Feature | /Film

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • He came to a standstill in front of her, and perused her with the expression of an intensely interested haddock. - ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008

  • Examine in detail v. look over casually.

    May 24, 2008

  • As seen in a Cracked's 9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think.

    November 26, 2007

  • Consider, you who peruse me, whether I may not in unknown ways be looking upon you ... Whitman, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"

    December 11, 2006