One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Read (something), typically in a thorough or careful way.‘he has spent countless hours in libraries perusing art history books and catalogues’
leaf, flick, flip, skim, browse, glance, look, riffleView synonyms
- ‘I found myself having a different kind of experience reading this work than I have ever had perusing a materia medica.’
- ‘Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means.’
- ‘By now, having thoroughly perused the menu, it was obvious that Haus Munchen was priced very moderately.’
- ‘Upon opening the door Jack was surprised to find Chris sitting on the couch perusing a medical journal.’
- ‘At the end of the long room, a grey haired sixty year old man is tapping his desk with his fingers whilst perusing a wad of documents.’
- ‘The Tribunal perused the original and read the copies that were made for its use.’
- ‘He said he needed to peruse these documents before he could make any submissions against the extradition of his client.’
- ‘You can navigate by country, topic or forum and read expert advice or peruse articles.’
- 1.1 Examine carefully or at length.‘Laura perused a Caravaggio’
study, scrutinize, look throughread, study, scrutinize, inspect, examine, wade through, look throughView synonyms
- ‘She thoroughly perused the room to make sure Pablo was nowhere nearby.’
Note that peruse means ‘read,’ typically with an implication of thoroughness and care. It does not mean ‘read through quickly; glance over,’ as in documents will be perused rather than analyzed thoroughly
Late 15th century (in the sense ‘use up, wear out’): perhaps from per- ‘thoroughly’ + use, but compare with Anglo-Norman French peruser ‘examine’.
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