verb in·spect \ in-ˈspekt \
|Updated on: 10 Aug 2018

Definition of inspect

inspected; inspecting; inspects
1 : to view closely in critical appraisal : look over
2 : to examine officially
  • inspects the barracks every Friday


play \in-ˈspek-tiv\ adjective

Examples of inspect in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of inspect from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of inspect

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

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

INSPECT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of inspect for English Language Learners

  • : 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

INSPECT Defined for Kids


verb in·spect \ in-ˈspekt \

Definition of inspect for Students

inspected; inspecting
1 : to examine closely
  • Doctors inspected the injury.
2 : to view and examine in an official way
  • The president inspected the troops.


\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.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb in·spect

legal Definition of inspect

1 : to view closely and critically
2 : to examine officially
  • inspect the facility for code violations
: to make an inspection

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very hard to disturb or upset

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