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tr.v. pe·rused, pe·rus·ing, pe·rus·es
1. To read or examine, typically with great care.
2. Usage Problem To glance over; skim.

[Middle English perusen, to use up : Latin per-, per- + Middle English usen, to use; see use.]

pe·rus′a·ble adj.
pe·rus′al n.
pe·rus′er n.
Usage Note: Peruse has long meant "to read thoroughly," as in He perused the contract until he was satisfied that it met all of his requirements, which was acceptable to 75 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2011 survey. But the word is often used more loosely, to mean simply "to read," as in The librarians checked to see which titles had been perused in the last month and which ones had been left untouched. Seventy percent of the Panel rejected this example in 1999, but only 39 percent rejected it in 2011. Further extension of the word to mean "to glance over, skim" has traditionally been considered an error, but our ballot results suggest that it is becoming somewhat more acceptable. When asked about the sentence I only had a moment to peruse the manual quickly, 66 percent of the Panel found it unacceptable in 1988, 58 percent in 1999, and 48 percent in 2011. Use of the word outside of reading contexts, as in We perused the shops in the downtown area, is often considered a mistake.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.perusing - reading carefully with intent to rememberperusing - reading carefully with intent to remember
reading - the cognitive process of understanding a written linguistic message; "his main reading was detective stories"; "suggestions for further reading"
References in classic literature ?
Upon perusing this she turned scarlet, and bit her lip.
Sam left it with the landlady, and was returning to pull his master's boots off, after drying himself by the kitchen fire, when glancing casually through a half-opened door, he was arrested by the sight of a gentleman with a sandy head who had a large bundle of newspapers lying on the table before him, and was perusing the leading article of one with a settled sneer which curled up his nose and all other features into a majestic expression of haughty contempt.
Pickwick, slightly embarrassed by the question, 'the fact is, I have been so much engaged in other ways, that I really have not had an opportunity of perusing them.
Miss Grey,' said she, one evening, a month before the all-important day, as I was perusing a long and extremely interesting letter of my sister's--which I had just glanced at in the morning to see that it contained no very bad news, and kept till now, unable before to find a quiet moment for reading it,--'Miss Grey, do put away that dull, stupid letter, and listen to me
It turned out he had been chief mate of her for the two preceding voyages; and I was already familiar with his handwriting in the old log-books I had been perusing in my cabin with a natural curiosity, looking up the records of my new ship's luck, of her behaviour, of the good times she had had, and of the troubles she had escaped.
His gentleman alone took the opportunity of perusing the newspaper before he laid it by his master's desk.
Behind a desk, sat two old gentleman with powdered heads: one of whom was reading the newspaper; while the other was perusing, with the aid of a pair of tortoise-shell spectacles, a small piece of parchment which lay before him.
He said that PTI has been continuously perusing politics of double standards on accountability which is evident from its stance on Panama Leaks and Khyber Leaks.
Catholics perusing his 84-page "Dictionary of Religious Literacy" may be surprised to learn that Vatican II was only "the second great council of the Roman Catholic Church" rather than the 21st.
Law firm Duff Phelps, which had been perusing space at 1166 Avenue of the Americas in recent months, signed for floors 30 and 31 or 62,000 s/f.
After perusing the evidence, District Attorney Doug Harcleroad determined that a man who was attacked in his apartment by an intruder was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed the intruder.
Readers interested in the background data related to the epidemiology of the Black Death will probably enjoy perusing the detailed, annotated data appendices.