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[skroo-pyuh-luh s] /ˈskru pyə ləs/
having scruples, or moral or ethical standards; having or showing a strict regard for what one considers right; principled:
scrupulous about defending human rights.
punctiliously or minutely careful, precise, or exact:
a scrupulous attention to detail in their performance.
Origin of scrupulous
late Middle English
First recorded in 1400-50; late Middle English word from Latin word scrūpulōsus. See scruple, -ous
Related forms
[skroo-pyuh-los-i-tee] /ˌskru pyəˈlɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
scrupulousness, noun
scrupulously, adverb
hyperscrupulosity, noun
hyperscrupulous, adjective
hyperscrupulously, adverb
hyperscrupulousness, noun
underscrupulous, adjective
underscrupulously, adverb
1. conscientious, cautious, careful, circumspect. 2. exacting, rigorous. Scrupulous, punctilious imply abiding exactly by rules. Scrupulous implies conscientious carefulness in attending to details: scrupulous attention to details. Punctilious suggests strictness, preciseness, and rigidity, especially in observance of social conventions.
2. careless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scrupulosity
Historical Examples
  • All things were enrobed wid verisimilitude an' scrupulosity.

    Going To Maynooth William Carleton
  • She feared to sin, not because of scrupulosity, but because of the world's opinion.


    James Huneker
  • scrupulosity in this matter is far less dangerous than indifference.

    The Gospel of St. John Frederick Denison Maurice
  • Age looks with anger on the temerity of youth, and youth with contempt on the scrupulosity of age.

    Rasselas Samuel Johnson
  • Mark has an editorial comment about the scrupulosity of the Jews.

  • Many of Roger Williams's scruples were peculiar, but his scrupulosity was not.

    The Beginners of a Nation Edward Eggleston.
  • The age was in love with scrupulosity, and Williams on this side was the product of his time.

    The Beginners of a Nation Edward Eggleston.
  • How many unfortunates have begun by scrupulosity and ended in insanity!

    Light and Peace Carlo Giuseppe Quadrupani
  • scrupulosity was a word that Boswell had caught up from Johnson.

  • Boswell (Hebrides, Aug. 15) writes of 'scrupulosity of conscience.'

British Dictionary definitions for scrupulosity


characterized by careful observation of what is morally right
very careful or precise
Derived Forms
scrupulously, adverb
scrupulousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin scrūpulōsus punctilious
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 scrupulosity



mid-15c., from Anglo-French scrupulus, Middle French scrupuleux, or directly from Latin scrupulosus, from scrupulus (see scruple). Related: Scrupulously; scrupulousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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