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ex·am·ine / igˈzamən/ • v. [tr.] 1. inspect (someone or something) in detail to determine their nature or condition; investigate thoroughly: this forced us to examine every facet of our business.2. test the knowledge or proficiency of (someone) by requiring them to answer questions or perform tasks: the colleges set standards by examining candidates. ∎  Law formally question (a defendant or witness) in court. Compare with cross-examine.DERIVATIVES: ex·am·in·a·ble adj.ex·am·i·nee / igˌzaməˈnē/ n.ex·am·in·er n.