in·​spect | \in-ˈspekt \
inspected; inspecting; inspects

Definition of inspect 

transitive verb

1 : to view closely in critical appraisal : look over

2 : to examine officially inspects the barracks every Friday

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Other Words from inspect

inspective \ in-​ˈspek-​tiv \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of inspect in a Sentence

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

Turkish investigators, meanwhile, inspected a car belonging to the consulate and found three suitcases, a laptop computer and clothes inside, state television TRT reported. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Saudi prince to address summit darkened by Khashoggi slaying," 24 Oct. 2018 Adam CoatsRed SavannahCoats personally inspects every one of his villas, including that 300-acre estate on Menorca with its own private cove and those stately Cotswolds manors where the only neighbors are sheep. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Duke Energy plans gas meter inspections for July, August Beginning in July, Duke Energy will inspect gas metering equipment and piping inside buildings in Mount Healthy. Jennie Key,, "City wins appeal in public records lawsuit," 12 July 2018 Charles then comes out to inspect the food and congratulate the chefs on their cooking abilities, but he was not shown on camera eating the canapés, Eater reported. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Prince Charles slammed on Twitter for not eating on 'MasterChef Australia'," 6 July 2018 Eventually the homeowners came out to inspect the car. John Benson,, "Woman with warrant cited for suspended license: Strongsville Police Blotter," 10 May 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will plant a commemorative tree and inspect an honor guard together after Kim walks across the border Friday for their historic summit, Seoul officials said Thursday. Washington Post, "North Korea calls US claims it hacked UN database ‘nonsense’," 3 May 2018 The leaders made their way to a reviewing stand to inspect a South Korean military honor guard, a diplomatic protocol often used on state visits. Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, "'Frank and sincere talks': Korean leaders take historic steps toward possible accord," 27 Apr. 2018 Two men who seemed on the verge of war months ago will take a pleasant walk, plant a commemorative tree, inspect an honor guard and belly-up to a lavish banquet. Foster Klug,, "Kim Jong Un walks south to meet his rival, but will progress follow?," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inspect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inspect

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inspect

Latin inspectus, past participle of inspicere, from in- + specere to look — more at spy

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Statistics for inspect

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inspect

The first known use of inspect was circa 1623

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More Definitions for inspect



English Language Learners Definition of inspect

: 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


in·​spect | \in-ˈspekt \
inspected; inspecting

Kids Definition of inspect

1 : to examine closely Doctors inspected the injury.

2 : to view and examine in an official way The president inspected the troops.

Other Words from inspect

inspector \ ˌin-​ˈspek-​tər \ noun


transitive verb

Legal Definition of inspect 

1 : to view closely and critically

2 : to examine officially inspect the facility for code violations

intransitive verb

: to make an inspection

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Comments on inspect

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