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

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Latin word scrūpulōsus. See scruple, -ous
Related formsscru·pu·los·i·ty [skroo-pyuh-los-i-tee] /ˌskru pyəˈlɒs ɪ ti/, scru·pu·lous·ness, nounscru·pu·lous·ly, adverbhy·per·scru·pu·los·i·ty, nounhy·per·scru·pu·lous, adjectivehy·per·scru·pu·lous·ly, adverbhy·per·scru·pu·lous·ness, nounun·der·scru·pu·lous, adjectiveun·der·scru·pu·lous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for scrupulous

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.

Antonyms for scrupulous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scrupulously

Contemporary Examples of scrupulously

Historical Examples of scrupulously

  • Gilder scrupulously followed the directions of the Police Inspector.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • I was scrupulously careful not to do so, for I did imagine something like what has happened.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • Debt he looked upon as the road to ruin, and he scrupulously shunned it.

  • But the end is so desirable that the means must not be too scrupulously considered.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Dwellings will be artistic, æsthetic and scrupulously clean.

British Dictionary definitions for scrupulously



characterized by careful observation of what is morally right
very careful or precise
Derived Formsscrupulously, adverbscrupulousness, noun

Word Origin for scrupulous

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

Word Origin and History for scrupulously



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