verb in·spect \in-ˈspekt\

: to look at (something) carefully in order to learn more about it, to find problems, etc.

: to officially visit a school, hospital, etc., in order to see if rules are being followed and things are in their proper condition

Full Definition of INSPECT

transitive verb
:  to view closely in critical appraisal :  look over
:  to examine officially <inspects the barracks every Friday>
intransitive verb
:  to make an inspection
in·spec·tive \-ˈspek-tiv\ adjective

Examples of INSPECT

  1. She had the car inspected by a mechanic before she bought it.
  2. The candles are inspected for damage before being packaged.
  3. After the storm, we went outside to inspect the damage.
  4. He inspected the soldiers' barracks.
  5. inspecting a restaurant for health code violations

Origin of INSPECT

Latin inspectus, past participle of inspicere, from in- + specere to look — more at spy
First Known Use: circa 1623

Synonym Discussion of INSPECT

scrutinize, scan, inspect, examine mean to look at or over. scrutinize stresses close attention to minute detail <scrutinized the hospital bill>. scan implies a surveying from point to point often suggesting a cursory overall observation <scanned the wine list>. inspect implies scrutinizing for errors or defects <inspected my credentials>. examine suggests a scrutiny in order to determine the nature, condition, or quality of a thing <examined the specimens>.
INSPECTING Defined for Kids


verb in·spect \in-ˈspekt\

Definition of INSPECT for Kids

:  to examine closely <Doctors inspected the injury.>
:  to view and examine in an official way <The president inspected the troops.>
in·spec·tor \ˌin-ˈspek-tər\ noun

Word Root of INSPECT

The Latin word specere, meaning to look or to look at, gives us the roots spec, spic, and spect. Words from the Latin specere have something to do with looking or watching. A spectator is a person who watches something, such as a sports event. Anything conspicuous is easy to see. To inspect is to look very closely at all parts of something. A specimen, or sample, is one example or one part that can show what the rest look like.


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