[ ig-zam-in ]
See synonyms for: examineexaminedexaminesexamining on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),ex·am·ined, ex·am·in·ing.
  1. to inspect or scrutinize carefully: to examine a prospective purchase.

  2. to observe, test, or investigate (a person's body or any part of it), especially in order to evaluate general health or determine the cause of illness.

  1. to inquire into or investigate: to examine one's motives.

  2. to test the knowledge, reactions, or qualifications of (a pupil, candidate, etc.), as by questions or assigning tasks.

  3. to subject to legal inquisition; put to question in regard to conduct or to knowledge of facts; interrogate: to examine a witness;to examine a suspect.

Origin of examine

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, from Middle French examiner, from Latin exāmināre “to weigh, examine, test,” equivalent to exāmin- (stem of exāmen examen) + -āre, infinitive ending

Other words for examine

Other words from examine

  • ex·am·in·a·ble, adjective
  • ex·am·i·na·to·ri·al [ig-zam-uh-nuh-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-], /ɪgˌzæm ə nəˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjective
  • ex·am·in·er, noun
  • ex·am·in·ing·ly, adverb
  • pre·ex·am·ine, verb (used with object), pre·ex·am·ined, pre·ex·am·in·ing.
  • pre·ex·am·in·er, noun
  • sub·ex·am·in·er, noun
  • su·per·ex·am·in·er, noun
  • un·ex·am·in·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ex·am·ined, adjective
  • un·ex·am·in·ing, adjective
  • well-ex·am·ined, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use examine in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for examine


/ (ɪɡˈzæmɪn) /

  1. to look at, inspect, or scrutinize carefully or in detail; investigate

  2. education to test the knowledge or skill of (a candidate) in (a subject or activity) by written or oral questions or by practical tests

  1. law to interrogate (a witness or accused person) formally on oath

  2. med to investigate the state of health of (a patient)

Origin of examine

C14: from Old French examiner, from Latin exāmināre to weigh, from exāmen means of weighing; see examen

Derived forms of examine

  • examinable, adjective
  • examiner, noun
  • examining, 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