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 The Corps also inspects the tunnel most years, but the check was skipped this spring because the water flow was too heavy. Author: Rachel D'oro, Anchorage Daily News, "Seward seeks upgrades for antiquated flood-control system," 11 Nov. 2019 Some states inspect high-hazard dams every year while others wait up to five years. Michelle Minkoff, The Denver Post, "Thousands face risk because of aging U.S. dams, including some in Colorado, AP finds," 10 Nov. 2019 After inspecting the damage done by the tree, the family has attributed their refrigerator for preventing the scene from being more tragic. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Tree Falls Through Home with Teens Inside — and They Avoid Being 'Crushed' Thanks to Fridge," 24 Oct. 2019 Amazon inspects factories making clothes for its private brands, but not those supplying the wholesalers or third-party sellers who make up most of its listings. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Amazon ignored an international ban on dangerous factories in Bangladesh," 24 Oct. 2019 Medvedev inspected a joint Russian-Cuban oil well, and promised help in finding new ways for Cuba to overcome its energy crunch. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "In Its Fight with Venezuela, the Trump Administration Takes Aim at Cuba," 10 Oct. 2019 Agents found the drugs after inspecting Caldwell’s vehicle, according to the corrections department. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Correctional officer at St. Clair County prison charged with drug trafficking," 8 Oct. 2019 After inspecting his kayak, McDaniel found that the shark left behind souvenirs -- two teeth and a massive jaw imprint. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "An 'enormous' great white shark sank its teeth into a man's kayak," 8 Oct. 2019 But retailers that want in on the resale business face the logistical challenge of collecting, inspecting, and processing used items. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "ThredUp is helping big stores sell recycled clothes," 21 Aug. 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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Statistics for inspect

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for inspect

The first known use of inspect was circa 1623

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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

Comments on inspect

What made you want to look up inspect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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