V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary
Definition: 1. extremely honest and principled, having scruples; 2. characterized by painstaking effort and attention to detail
Synonyms: conscientious, honest, principled, painstaking, exact, fussy, particular, thorough, punctilious
Antonyms: careless, faulty, lazy
Tips: Scrupulous originates from the Latin word scrupulus, which means "a small, sharp stone," with the underlying meaning of stepping on a sharp stone. Because a similar feeling happens in the conscience when you do something wrong, scrupulous has come to mean "honest or virtuous." The related word scruple refers to the moral hesitation or consideration that may stop someone from committing an act that may be wrong--it's the "sharp stone" that causes you to walk cautiously. You have probably heard someone say "you have no scruples," meaning "you have no 'guards' to prevent you from doing something wrong or immoral." You can also say someone is unscrupulous to denote lacking scruples.
He was a scrupulous man who wouldn't take advantage of anyone. (honest, principled)
After years of scrupulous research, she finally finished her book. (painstaking, thorough)
The unscrupulous businessman fired employees who disagreed with him. (unprincipled, not conscientious)
He has no scruples, so I wasn't surprised to learn he cheated his way through school. (morals, integrity) noun
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