in·​spect | \ in-ˈspekt How to pronounce inspect (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inspect (audio) \ 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 In person, adjusters can travel to and inspect three to eight vehicles a day. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "AI Comes to Car Repair, and Body Shop Owners Aren’t Happy," 13 Apr. 2021 Beaver County spent $3,700 on a drone to help the assessor’s office and building department inspect properties from a distance. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Here’s how millions in federal funds will benefit Utah’s rural counties after the pandemic ends.," 11 Apr. 2021 The one downside of online shopping is that customers can’t inspect a product in person. Michael Fox, Forbes, "Building An Amazon Business: Why Learning Amazon SEO Is So Important," 8 Apr. 2021 That leak went on for months and led to requirements that the company more closely inspect the fuel line to prevent future leaks. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Hilcorp shuts down two offshore platforms in Cook Inlet after natural gas leaks from fuel line," 6 Apr. 2021 Surely Chinese President Xi Jinping would let Mr. Manfred inspect the camps, and why not bring along fellow Georgia boycott enthusiast LeBron James to certify that the Uighurs are cheerful in their work? The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Biden, Georgia and the Beijing Olympics," 4 Apr. 2021 Checking the vaccines, and checking them again After authorizing a vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must approve and regularly inspect each vaccine manufacturing facility. Tinglong Dai, Chron, "Why Johnson & Johnson throwing out 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses shouldn't scare you," 2 Apr. 2021 As part of the agreement reached between the mayor and the teachers' union reached to delay the start of school the first time, the union was allowed to inspect each school building for safety. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, "Facing Monday deadline, New York City will again delay start of in-person classes," 18 Sep. 2020 Then let the people inspect and crunch the numbers themselves, rather than taking the word of a governor who has been gaslighting them for almost a year. Bill Hammond, WSJ, "New York Needs to Release Its Covid Data," 24 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for inspect

Time Traveler

The first known use of inspect was circa 1623

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Statistics for inspect

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inspect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce inspect (audio) \
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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