- Used with reference to a very thorough search or analysis of something: Cropper will have been through the manuscript with a toothcomb the boys have been over the area with a fine toothcombMore example sentences
- The Guardian's Book Review has a review of his new biography of the grumpiest man in popular music, which advises you to snap it up quick before Van's solicitors run their toothcombs over it.
- And even those who have gone through the figures with a fine fiscal toothcomb are still unsure that they can work out how it will all work.
The forms toothcomb and fine toothcomb arose from a misreading of the compound noun fine-tooth comb, a comb with closely spaced teeth. However, in modern use all the forms are accepted in standard English.