Definitions

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

  • n. A close, careful examination or study.
  • n. Close observation; surveillance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Intense study of someone or something.
  • n. Thorough inspection of a situation or a case.
  • v. To scrutinize.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Close examination; minute inspection; critical observation.
  • n. An examination of catechumens, in the last week of Lent, who were to receive baptism on Easter Day.
  • n. A ticket, or little paper billet, on which a vote is written.
  • n. An examination by a committee of the votes given at an election, for the purpose of correcting the poll.
  • transitive v. To scrutinize.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Close investigation or examination; minute inquiry; critical examination.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. In the early church, the examination in Lent of catechumens, including instruction in and questions upon the creed, accompanied with prayers, exorcisms, and other ceremonies, prior to their baptism on Easter day.
  • n. One of the three methods used in the Roman Catholic Church for electing a Pope.
  • n. In canon law, a ticket or little paper billet on which a vote is written.
  • n. An examination by a competent authority of the votes given or ballots east at an election, for the purpose of rejecting those that are vitiated or imperfect, and thus correcting the poll.
  • n. Synonyms Investigation, Inspection, etc. (see examination), sifting. See search, v.
  • To scrutinize.

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

  • n. a prolonged intense look
  • n. the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)

Etymologies

Middle English scrutinie, taking of a formal vote, from Latin scrūtinium, inquiry, search, from scrūtārī, to search, examine, from scrūta, trash.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English scrutiny, from Medieval Latin scrūtinium ("a search, an inquiry"), from Vulgar Latin scrūtārī ("to search or examine thoroughly"), of uncertain origin. Possibly from Late Latin scrūta ("rubbish, broken trash"); or of Germanic origin, related to Old English scrūtnung ("examination, investigation, inquiry, search"), from Old English scrūtnian, scrūdnian ("to examine carefully, scrutinize, consider, investigate"), from Proto-Germanic *skrudōnan, *skruþōnan (“to search, examine”), from Proto-Germanic *skrud-, *skruþ- (“to cut”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kreut- (“to cut”). Compare Old High German skrodōn, scrutōn, scrutilōn ("to research, explore"), Old High German scrod ("a search, scrutiny"), Gothic  (andhruskan, "to investigate, explore"), Old English scrēadian ("to shred, cut up, cut off, peel, pare, prune"). More at shred. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I would say the class in scrutiny is definitely the beneficiary of theft.

    Hatin’ On Johnny Rawls

  • One aspect of the newly-passed FISA law that deserves a bit of extra scrutiny is the amount of pressure it puts on “minimization procedures,” one of the few points of contact between the surveillance program and the FISA court.

    Minimize Me!

  • BEIJING Airlines are being told to stay away from Beijing's airport during the opening ceremony of the Olympics and further scrutiny is being applied to foreign entertainers in the latest security moves ahead of next month's games.

    Beijing: No flights during Olympics opening

  • An anonymous AFP writer or editor puts the word "scrutiny" in the title and doesn't even bother to interview any other outside experts in the field about what they might think.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • This kind of scrutiny is easy for researchers to applaud when a news report questions dodgy statistics or dubious claims about uncertainties in evolution.

    Websites

  • And if he has any hopes of reconciling with the wife (and I am not sure that he does), this constant drip drip of details and the constant scrutiny is making a stressful situation even worse.

    CNN Poll: Americans think Sanford should resign

  • Why should anyone believe she could hang in as president of an entire nation of 50 states for a full term when the glare of scrutiny is many times stronger?

    Palin says she is not a quitter

  • Public scrutiny is our only protection against corruption. sifto77

    CIA claims disputed program was 'never fully operational'

  • Hillary herself states the vetting process gets 'worse' with each administration, meaning more scrutiny is applied to eligibles (good!).

    Clinton: Vetting process for administration jobs 'a nightmare'

  • Sure the media and legislative scrutiny is tough, but had he not opened Pandora's Box with his jaunt to Argentina, he'd still be doing the same lousy job of representing the ppl of SC he was doing before.

    Sanford: Now I know what Palin felt like

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