To observe carefully or critically; inspect: examined the room for clues. To study or analyze: examine a tissue sample under a microscope; examine the structure of a novel; examine one's own motives. To test or check the condition or health of: examine a patient. To determine the qualifications, aptitude, or skills of by means of questions or exercises. To question formally, as to elicit facts or information; interrogate: examine a witness under oath. See Synonyms at ask.