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[skroot-n-ee] /ˈskrut n i/
noun, plural scrutinies.
a searching examination or investigation; minute inquiry.
surveillance; close and continuous watching or guarding.
a close and searching look.
Origin of scrutiny
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin scrūtinium the action of searching, of scrutinizing, derivative of scrūtārī to search
Related forms
nonscrutiny, noun, plural nonscrutinies.
rescrutiny, noun, plural rescrutinies.
self-scrutiny, noun
1. See examination. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scrutiny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She surprised me in the middle of my scrutiny, but she did not seem to notice it.

    The Yellow House E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • The more potent a power in us, I suspect it is the more hidden from our scrutiny.'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Unconscious of their scrutiny, the boy played a czardas, weird and strange.

    Our Little Hungarian Cousin Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
  • My assistant hummed at her task, unconscious of my scrutiny.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Kent stared at her frankly, so that she flushed a little under the scrutiny.

    Lonesome Land B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for scrutiny


noun (pl) -nies
close or minute examination
a searching look
  1. (in the early Christian Church) a formal testing that catechumens had to undergo before being baptized
  2. a similar examination of candidates for holy orders
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin scrūtinium an investigation, from scrūtārī to search (originally referring to rag-and-bone men), from scrūta rubbish
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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Word Origin and History for scrutiny

early 15c., "a vote to choose someone to decide a question," from Late Latin scrutinium "a search, inquiry" (in Medieval Latin, "a mode of election by ballot"), from Latin scrutari "to examine, investigate, search," from PIE root *skreu- "to cut; cutting tool" (see shred (n.)). Meaning "close examination" first recorded c.1600. Perhaps the original notion of the Latin word is "to search through trash," via scruta (plural) "trash, rags" ("shreds"); or the original sense might be "to cut into, scratch."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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