The children studied him impassively.

That was an example sentence from a dictionary. Unfortunately I failed to understand its meaning. Besides, there is no more context. This is the whole shebang! To the best of my knowledge, people don't study someone, but something! Or maybe everyone else have done that and it's only me who have missed out on the fun!

closed as off-topic by StoneyB, hjpotter92, Walter, Mohit, Persian Cat Sep 12 '13 at 18:35

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  • 4
    Studied means observed or watched in this context. – dcaswell Sep 9 '13 at 15:24
  • I think you will find that questions of this sort are readily answered with a good dictionary, such as the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary; look at definition 2. If that leaves you in any doubt, you may click on the edit link above to revise your question, citing what you find in the dictionary and addressing more specific issues. – StoneyB Sep 9 '13 at 17:55
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    @StoneyB- In OALD, definition 2 of study talks about studying something and not someone, as already pointed by the OP – Ramit Sep 9 '13 at 18:29
  • @StoneyB Thank you. Indeed I look unknown words up in dictionaries before I asked them here. This way life is easier for me too. I ignored that definition because as Ramit mentioned it says "something". However, now I see that they have hidden a "somebody/something" inside the definition! – user1555 Sep 9 '13 at 18:58
  • @user814064 Thank you. You could write it as an Answer. – user1555 Sep 9 '13 at 19:25

One definition from the Free Online Dictionary is "To examine closely; scrutinize." That's what you do when you study someone.


The Merriam Webster dictionary lists one definition of "studied" to be carefully considered or prepared, thoughtful.

In the context you give, it simply means they are carefully, thoughtfully observing him.

It is actually a fairly common usage of this phrase.

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    The definition you cite is not relevant to OP's question. Your definition is for studied used as an adjective, for example in "a studied position on the issue". – The Photon Sep 9 '13 at 16:36