scrutinize

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DEFINITION

verb
: to examine closely and minutely.

EXAMPLES
1. The new $100 bill has enough novel security features that the urge to scrutinize it will likely be irresistible to most people upon encountering it for the first time.
2. “After being scrutinized by City Council and local businesses, several designs for the Santa Monica Pier bridge were passed on for environmental review at this week’s meeting.” — From an article by David Mark Simpson in the Santa Monica Daily Press (California), November 28, 2013.

DID YOU KNOW?
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.

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