fine-tooth comb

[ fahyn-tooth ]

  1. a comb having narrow, closely set teeth.

Idioms about fine-tooth comb

  1. 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.

Origin of fine-tooth comb

First recorded in 1830–40
  • Also fine-toothed comb [fahyn-tootht, -toothd]. /ˈfaɪnˌtuθt, -ˌtuðd/.

Words Nearby fine-tooth comb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fine-tooth comb in a sentence

  • Make sure your contractor is taking precise measurements, as the insurance company will go through the quote with a fine-tooth comb to find any discrepancies.

    What to do when your house floods | Joseph Hudson and Alex Phillips | September 6, 2021 | Washington Blade
  • We’ve gone over our code with a fine-tooth comb, overhauling the most important parts and ditching outdated bits.

    A New Article Page Design at ProPublica | by ProPublica’s Design and Platform Team | March 23, 2021 | ProPublica
  • How does it feel when every year your home electric bill in Tennessee is gone over with a fine tooth comb?

    Al Gore Warms Up | Lloyd Grove | December 9, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Then—still on the way to harbor—a really fine-tooth-comb examination of the ship began.

    The Invaders | William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • You could rake all hell with a fine-tooth comb and not find a worse man to try you—if you killed Adam Forbes.

    Stepsons of Light | Eugene Manlove Rhodes

British Dictionary definitions for fine-tooth comb

fine-tooth comb

  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 or 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

Other 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.