[ skroot-n-ee ]
/ ˈskrut n i /
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Definition of scrutiny

noun, plural scru·ti·nies.
a searching examination or investigation; minute inquiry.
surveillance; close and continuous watching or guarding.
a close and searching look.
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Origin of scrutiny

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin scrūtinium “a search, inquiry, investigation,” derivative of scrūtārī “to search thoroughly”

synonym study for scrutiny

1. See examination.

historical usage of scrutiny

Scrutiny and its related words scrutable and scrutinize come from the Late Latin noun scrūtinium “physical search (of a place) for something hidden.”
Scrūtinium is a derivative of the verb scrūtārī, having a verbal meaning corresponding to scrūtinium, but whose original meaning was “to sort through rags, junk, or trash” ( scrūta, a neuter plural noun, means “rubbish, trash”), which is very applicable to modern politics. And the earliest sense of scrutiny in English happens to be “the formal taking of votes.”


non·scru·ti·ny, noun, plural non·scru·ti·nies.re·scru·ti·ny, noun, plural re·scru·ti·nies.self-scru·ti·ny, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use scrutiny in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scrutiny

/ (ˈskruːtɪnɪ) /

noun plural -nies
close or minute examination
a searching look
  1. (in the early Christian Church) a formal testing that catechumens had to undergo before being baptized
  2. a similar examination of candidates for holy orders

Word Origin for scrutiny

C15: from Late Latin scrūtinium an investigation, from scrūtārī to search (originally referring to rag-and-bone men), from scrūta rubbish
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