The Meaning of Perusal: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of perusal? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word perusal, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word perusal mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, as well as other dictionaries like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word perusal is a noun that refers to the act of reading or examining something. The verb form of this word is peruse, which can either refer to a thorough reading or casual flip through or skim some piece of work. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. Using words in a sentence, as well as making flashcards and giving yourself a quiz are all great ways to learn a word’s definition. 

The word peruse is often used in reference to reading something casually. People might enjoy going to a bookstore and perusing, or browsing the shelves that they have. These people are not going to the bookshop to do heavy research or search for information, but are casually looking through books that they might want to purchase. This might get confusing, because the word peruse can also be used to mean to examine something carefully. One might go to a research library to peruse different academic articles on a specific topic for a paper they are writing. In this case, they are reading the document very closely. Make sure that you pay attention to the context in which a person is using the word perusal so that you can infer the correct meaning. 

Many different languages also use words that mean perusal. You may notice that some of these different words look or sound similarly to each other. These cognates are usually formed when words have a similar origin. For example, the romance languages all stem from Latin, so these languages have many different words that are cognates for each other. This list of translations of perusal is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Czech: prostudovat‎, prozkoumat‎
  •  Slovak: preštudovať‎, preskúmať‎
  •  Spanish: examinar‎
  •  Finnish: tutkia‎
  •  French: examiner‎
  •  Dutch: zorgvuldig onderzoeken‎
  •  Russian: (внима́тельно) изуча́ть‎ (impf), изучи́ть‎ (impf), рассма́тривать‎ (impf), рассмотре́ть‎ (pf)
  •  Portuguese: examinar‎
  •  German: studieren‎, genau unter die Lupe nehmen‎
  •  Greek: εξετάζω‎

What is the origin of the word perusal?

According to Etymonline, perusal has been used as a noun since 1600. This comes from the verb peruse, which has been used since the late 15th century. This comes from the Middle English per meaning completely. This has been used to read carefully by the 1530s, and to mean read casually since the 19th century. Related words include perused and perusing.

How can the word perusal be used in a sentence?

The word perusal can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Below are many examples of perusal. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. You never know, it might become one of your new favorite words to use. 

Her perusal of the current books in the curriculum helped her prepare for her legal studies courses. She was sure she would find future greatness as a lawyer. 

He performed a careful perusal of the records in the archives, but did not find any amount of information that would be useful about Descartes’ earliest theorems. 

A perusal of a book in a little lounge cafe on a rainy afternoon is the perfect way to relax. The pitter patter of the rain on the window makes the perfect background noise. 

He did a careful perusal of the selection of videos available in the library, but could not find anything in any of the categories he was interested in. He opted to check out a documentary instead. 

The ad executive, Al, did a quick perusal of the platform he was supposed to create an advertisement for. He had quite a bit of work ahead of him to make the website increase its frequency on search engine results. 

One of her favorite pastimes was going to the bookstore for a quick perusal of the English literature section. She loved being able to tick off how many books she had read, and she always found something new to purchase and devour. 

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word perusal?

There are many different words and phrases that one can use in place of the word perusal. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as other words and phrases. Synonyms are a useful tool to help you avoid repeating yourself as well as to expand your knowledge of the English language and vocabulary.This list of synonyms for the word perusal is provided by Thesaurus

  •  scrutiny
  •  examination
  •  inspection
  •  research
  •  survey
  •  test
  •  analysis
  •  audit
  •  checking
  •  checkup
  •  cross-examination
  •  glance
  •  diagnosis
  •  experiment
  •  exploration
  •  inquiry
  •  inspection
  •  interrogation
  •  investigation
  •  observation
  •  probe
  •  questioning
  •  questionnaire
  •  raid
  •  research
  •  review
  •  scan
  •  scrutiny
  •  search
  •  study
  •  survey
  •  trial
  •  assay
  •  battery
  •  breakdown
  •  canvass
  •  catechism
  •  dissection
  •  exam
  •  final
  •  grilling
  •  inquest
  •  inquisition
  •  make-up
  •  once-over
  •  oral
  •  quest
  •  quiz
  •  reconnaissance
  •  tryout
  •  view
  •  blue book
  •  legwork
  •  perlustration
  •  the eye
  •  third degree
  •  written

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning as the word perusal. These are known as antonyms. Antonyms are also a useful English grammatical tool that one can use to expand their vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word perusal is provided by Thesaurus as well.

  •  delinquency
  •  disdain
  •  disregardance
  •  disregard
  •  oversight
  •  laxity
  •  laxness
  •  coolness
  •  inattention
  •  slight
  •  thoughtlessness
  •  unconcern
  •  indifference
  •  heedlessness
  •  scorn
  •  inadvertence
  •  inconsideration
  •  disrespect
  •  carelessness
  •  neglect

Overall, the word perusal Is a noun that refers to the action of reading something with careful examination. The verb form of the word perusal is peruse. 


  1. PERUSAL Synonyms: 6 Synonyms & Antonyms for PERUSAL | Thesaurus 
  2. NEGLECT Synonyms: 183 Synonyms & Antonyms for NEGLECT | Thesaurus 
  3. peruse | Origin and meaning of peruse | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. perusal: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  5. Perusal | Definition of Perusal | Merriam-Webster