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fine-tooth comb

[fahyn-tooth]
noun
  1. a comb having narrow, closely set teeth.
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Idioms
  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.
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Also fine-toothed comb [fahyn-tootht, -tooth d] /ˈfaɪnˌtuθt, -ˌtuðd/.

Origin of fine-tooth comb

First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fine-tooth comb

Historical Examples of fine-tooth comb

  • There are two sides to this question of fine-tooth-comb education.

    Germany and the Germans

    Price Collier


British Dictionary definitions for fine-tooth comb

fine-tooth comb

fine-toothed comb

noun
  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
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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

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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.