AskDefine | Define scrutiny

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes) [syn: examination]
2 a prolonged intense look

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. Intense study of someone or something
  2. Thorough inspection of a situation or a case


Related terms

Extensive Definition

Scrutiny (Fr. scrutin, Late Lat. scrutinium, from scrutari, to search or examine thoroughly) is a careful examination or inquiry (often implying the search for a likely mistake or failure).
The word is specifically applied in the early Roman Catholic Church to the examination of the catechumens or those under instruction in the faith. They were taught the creed and the Lord's Prayer, examined therein, and exorcized prior to baptism. The days of scrutiny varied at different periods from three to seven. From about the end of the 12th century, when it became usual to baptize infants soon after their birth instead of at stated times (Easter and Pentecost), the ceremony of scrutiny was incorporated with that of the actual baptism.
Scrutiny is also a term applied to a method of electing a pope in the Catholic Church, in contradistinction to two other methods, acclamation and accession. In the law of elections, scrutiny is the careful examination of votes cast after the unsuccessful candidate has lodged a petition claiming the seat, and alleging that he has the majority of legal votes. Each vote is dealt with separately, notice being given beforehand by one party to the other of the votes objected to and the grounds of objection.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

analysis, attention to detail, audit, check, close study, contemplation, eagle eye, enquiry, examination, exploration, eye, eyeball inspection, fascinated attention, finicalness, finickiness, fixed regard, harping, inquiry, inspection, investigation, look-in, meticulous attention, minute attention, ocular inspection, overhaul, overhauling, overview, perlustration, perusal, probe, probing, quality control, rapt attention, review, run-through, scan, sifting, special consideration, strict attention, study, surveillance, survey, tab, the eye, undivided attention, unrelenting attention, vetting, view, visitation, visual examination, watch
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