Having or showing moral integrity and principles; being very careful, meticulous, and diligent in carrying out tasks, duties, or responsibilities.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Conscientious, meticulous, fastidious, careful, diligent, thorough, exact, punctilious, precise, rigorous, attentive.


Careless, negligent, sloppy, slapdash, haphazard, inattentive, lax.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun scruples, scruple, scrupulousnesses, scrupulousness
Verb scrupled, scruple, scruples, scrupling
Adjective scrupulous
Adverb scrupulously

Example Sentences

  • The lawyer was scrupulous in his dealings with his clients, ensuring that he represented them ethically and professionally at all times.

  • The chef was scrupulous in his preparation of the ingredients, making sure that everything was sliced, diced, and measured precisely.

  • The teacher was scrupulous in grading her students’ papers, checking and rechecking each answer to ensure accuracy.

  • The researcher was scrupulous in his experiments, recording every detail and controlling every variable.


The word “scrupulous” is derived from the Latin word “scrupulus,” which means “small sharp stone” or “doubt.” This suggests that being scrupulous involves being very careful and meticulous in carrying out tasks, duties, or responsibilities, and having a strong sense of moral integrity and principles.

The word can be used to describe someone who is careful and conscientious in their work or duties, whether in a professional or personal setting. For example, a scrupulous doctor would take great care in diagnosing and treating their patients, ensuring that they are given the best possible care. A scrupulous writer would pay close attention to detail, ensuring that their work is well-researched, accurate, and well-written.

Additionally, the word can be used in a negative sense to describe someone who is overly meticulous, to the point of being obsessive or paranoid. For example, a scrupulous person might become fixated on small details, making it difficult for them to complete tasks or make decisions. In this context, the word “scrupulous” might be used synonymously with the word “perfectionist.”

The word can also be used in a variety of forms, such as “scrupulously” (adverb) and “scrupulousness” (noun). Prefixes such as “un-” or “in-” can be added to create antonyms such as “unscrupulous” or “inscrupulous.” Suffixes such as “-ity” or “-ness” can be added to create related nouns such as “scrupulosity” or “scrupulousness.”