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 inspective (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 Before beginning the deep cleaning process, inspect your mattress for any stains. Shelby Deering, Country Living, "Here's How to Clean a Mattress (Because Yes, You Need To)," 3 Feb. 2020 Seeking to streamline the company’s supply process, the company shut down a lab in China where shoes were inspected before being exported. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "How Private Equity Buried Payless," 31 Jan. 2020 The car manufacturer also suggested visiting a local Toyota dealership to have the vehicle inspected before the installation, but confirmed that all owners impacted by the recall will be notified via mail by mid-March. Joelle Goldstein,, "Toyota Recalls 2.9 Million Cars Over Airbag and Seatbelt Defect — Here’s How to Check Your Car," 22 Jan. 2020 Those who fear bedbug infestations should search for them in mattresses and behind baseboards during daylight hours, eliminate clutter and inspect secondhand furniture before bringing it inside, the company said. Washington Post, "D.C. ranks No. 1 on ‘Bed Bug Cities’ list, ending Baltimore’s three-year reign," 13 Jan. 2020 Police are analyzing documents, audio and video recordings related to the crash, questioning officials and passengers and inspecting the airport’s infrastructure., "News of the Day From Around the World," 28 Dec. 2019 And lawmakers said companies must disclose to the public information on flowlines and inspect inactive flowlines before companies can re-activate them for moving oil and gas. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Thirty months after fatal Firestone blast, Colorado’s widening web of underground pipelines still not fully mapped," 27 Oct. 2019 The outages also probably will not be brief: PG&E has to visually inspect and potentially repair equipment before restoring power, meaning that some areas could be without power for days. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Fire danger and a massive power shutoff in Northern California," 9 Oct. 2019 Even after the weather improves, there can be delays as utilities inspect every line before restoring power. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Outages to deter wildfires burden rural California counties," 27 Sep. 2019

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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inspect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for inspect


How to pronounce inspect (audio)

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

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inspect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inspect

Spanish Central: Translation of inspect

Nglish: Translation of inspect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inspect for Arabic Speakers

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