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fine-tooth comb

[fahyn-tooth] /ˈfaɪnˌtuθ/
noun
1.
a comb having narrow, closely set teeth.
Idioms
2.
go over / through with a fine-tooth comb, to examine in close detail; search thoroughly; fine-comb:
The police went over the apartment with a fine-tooth comb.
Also, fine-toothed comb
[fahyn-tootht, -tooth d] /ˈfaɪnˌtuθt, -ˌtuðd/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fine-tooth comb
  • His completely ordinary education, colleagues, friends and past have all been gone over with a fine-tooth comb.
  • Sit children down by a sink filled with warm water and comb their hair into sections using a fine-tooth comb.
  • We will be going through the proposal with a fine-tooth comb and making an independent judgment.
  • We have been over the record with a fine-tooth comb and cannot find any such concession.
  • The best way to get rid of them is to use a fine-tooth comb.
British Dictionary definitions for fine-tooth comb

fine-tooth comb

noun
1.
a comb with fine teeth set closely together
2.
go over with a fine-tooth comb, go over with a fine-toothed comb, go through with a fine-tooth comb, go through with a fine-toothed comb, to examine very thoroughly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with fine-tooth comb

fine-tooth comb

A method of searching or investigating in minute detail, as in He examined the figures with a fine-tooth comb but found no errors. The practice of using a comb with close-set teeth to comb out head lice was transferred to various kinds of investigation in the late 1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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