September 17, 2012
scrutiny (noun)
\SKROOT-uh-nee\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a close examination : inspection
How do you use it?
Kristie's excuse for missing practice sounded good at first, but it didn't hold up under scrutiny.
Are you a word wiz?

Under closer examination, word experts have found that "scrutiny" may trace back to the Latin word "scruta," which refers to something people try to get rid of. What do you think "scruta" means?

We hope you didn't trash choice C, because it's the right answer! "Scrutiny" is the English rendering of the Latin word "scrutinium," which comes from the verb "scrutari," meaning "to search, examine." Scholars believe that "scrutari" probably came from the Latin noun "scruta," meaning "trash." Perhaps that's because a thorough examination may require searching through everything, even trash, for clues. Other words related to "scrutiny" include the verb "scrutinize," meaning "to examine closely," and "inscrutable," meaning "mysterious."
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