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  1. the act of examining; inspection; inquiry; investigation.
  2. the state of being examined.
  3. the act or process of testing pupils, candidates, etc., as by questions.
  4. the test itself; the list of questions asked.
  5. the answers, statements, etc., made by one examined.
  6. Law. formal interrogation.

Origin of examination

1350–1400; Middle English examinacioun < Latin exāminātiōn- (stem of exāminātiō). See examine, -ation
Related formsex·am·i·na·tion·al, adjectivepre·ex·am·i·na·tion, noun

Synonyms for examination

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1. observation. Examination, inspection, scrutiny refer to a looking at something. An examination usually means a careful noting of details: A thorough examination of the plumbing revealed a defective pipe. An inspection is a formal and official examination: an inspection of records, a military inspection. Scrutiny implies a critical and minutely detailed examination: The papers seemed to be in good order, but they would not stand close scrutiny. See also investigation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for examination


  1. the act of examining or state of being examined
  2. education
    1. written exercises, oral questions, or practical tasks, set to test a candidate's knowledge and skill
    2. (as modifier)an examination paper
  3. med
    1. physical inspection of a patient or parts of his body, in order to verify health or diagnose disease
    2. laboratory study of secretory or excretory products, tissue samples, etc, esp in order to diagnose disease
  4. law the formal interrogation of a person on oath, esp of an accused or a witness
Derived Formsexaminational, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for examination

late 14c., "action of testing or judging; judicial inquiry," from Old French examinacion, from Latin examinationem (nominative examinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of examinare (see examine). Sense of "test of knowledge" is attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

examination in Medicine


  1. An investigation or inspection for the purpose of diagnosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.