go through (something) with a fine tooth comb

Meaning(s)

1. examine something in detail or search with great care

Popularity

Medium

Professional

Medium

Social

Check Icon How to Memorize

go through a document/evidence/contract with a fine-tooth comb

Check Icon Analysis

To go through something can mean to search or examine something in order to obtain information or to look for something specific. If you go through something with a fine-tooth comb it means to look at something or to examine something precisely and with great care so nothing will be missed. This is an idiom used in both social and professional contexts.


Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. The police went through all the evidence with a fine-tooth comb, but found nothing that could shed a light on who the killer might be.
  2. I went through the whole house with a fine-tooth comb trying to find my car keys. I eventually found them down the back of the sofa.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. Katie has a great eye for detail, so I want her to go through the contract with a fine-toothed comb and make sure there is nothing in the small print that might cause us problems down the line. 
  2. I have gone through all of the research with a fine-tooth comb but I can’t find any evidence to support your proposal.

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