mid-15c., "characterized by fine distinctions of doubt," from Anglo-French scrupulus (Old French scrupulos, Modern French scrupuleux) and directly from Latin scrupulosus "careful, exact," from scrupulus (see scruple). By 1540s as "careful to follow the dictates of conscience," hence, in non-moral matters, "exact, precise, rigorous, punctilious" (1630s). Scruplesome "inclined to be scrupulous" is from 1800 (Maria Edgeworth). Related: Scrupulously; scrupulousness; scrupulosity.
updated on March 05, 2022