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

Renters Matthew Bentley, Wesley Williams, and Joseph Briere—all plaintiffs in the suit—found out earlier this year that their units were being inspected and refused. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Seattle’s mandatory rental inspection law challenged in lawsuit," 6 Dec. 2018 In Minnesota, public pools must be licensed and often are inspected annually. Glenn Howatt,, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018 In Minnesota, public pools must be licensed and often are inspected annually. Glenn Howatt, ajc, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 9 July 2018 Residents living below Lake Tahoma were ordered to leave after the dam was inspected. NBC News, "Landslide near North Carolina's Lake Tahoma dam sparks evacuations," 30 May 2018 Frontier Airlines did not immediately respond to questions about whether the plane was inspected during the emergency stop and whether the flight resumed service. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Odor forces Frontier Airlines flight to divert to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport," 27 May 2018 In the aftermath of the April fatality, the FAA ordered all airlines that fly the Boeing 737 to inspect the engines within 20 days. Ashley Halsey Iii, Washington Post, "After fatal accident, Southwest Airlines inspects 35,000 engine fan blades and finds no flaws," 16 May 2018 Carriers have until August to inspect engines that have logged up to 20,000 cycles. Barbara Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "The Blown Engine on Southwest Flight 1380 Suffered "Tooth Decay"," 4 May 2018 Investigators are continuing their probe into the accident, with Southwest inspecting engines across its fleet of more than 700 jets. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Cracked Window Forces Southwest Jet Landing," 2 May 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

12 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on inspect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inspect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inspect

Spanish Central: Translation of inspect

Nglish: Translation of inspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inspect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inspect

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