Definition of scrutiny in US English:


nounPlural scrutinies

  • Critical observation or examination.

    ‘every aspect of local government was placed under scrutiny’
    • ‘The small percipient eyes are screwed up, and wrinkled from his repeated minute scrutinies.’
    • ‘He might read Michael Buckley's magisterial study of scientific scrutinies of religion ever since the Enlightenment.’
    • ‘In response to all the above-mentioned cases, I published critical scrutinies of Korpi's assertions.’
    • ‘This might have been because there was nothing on the end of the line except a lead sinker, but that interesting anomaly wasn't visible to the observers, even with the keenest of scrutinies, so they were left unknowing.’
    • ‘The Hutton and Butler scrutinies called into question whether the obligation was being fully secured.’
    • ‘She then preceded him from the sitting room, allowing nothing to show on her expression save calm due to his continued sidelong scrutinies.’
    • ‘The group entered the store, Vicki only vaguely aware of Cora and Andy's chatter and Wil's long, sidelong scrutinies.’
    careful examination, inspection, survey, scan, study, perusal
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin scrutinium, from scrutari ‘to search’ (originally ‘sort rubbish’, from scruta ‘rubbish’). Early use referred to the taking of individual votes in an election procedure.