Definition of inspect in English:



  • 1 Look at (someone or something) closely, typically to assess their condition or to discover any shortcomings.

    ‘they inspected the paintwork for cracks and flaws’
    • ‘Carefully inspect the display of rocks for footprints, claw marks and tail drags made by primitive reptiles.’
    • ‘He or she also inspects your skin and the inside and outside of your nose.’
    • ‘The two of them went outside and inspected the area just below the broken window.’
    • ‘As he inspected it further he noticed a slight discoloring in the brick.’
    • ‘The council has already inspected four sites to assess how suitable they are.’
    • ‘She looked at it closely, like a detective inspecting the scene of the crime.’
    • ‘To my amusement, she inspects it closely, with serious expression.’
    • ‘After inspecting it more closely, we were surprised to discover that it was a brass telescope, with all the optics still in place!’
    • ‘After inspecting the equipment they discovered that there had been a leak.’
    • ‘The findings may come as a surprise to anyone who closely inspects Dewar's record in office.’
    • ‘Let me just offer a few sage observations after having traveled the aisles inspecting the wares.’
    • ‘The Council is to send an expert to inspect the trees to assess their condition.’
    • ‘Framed on the wall, it looks pictorial, until you inspect its relief and discover its sculptural elements.’
    • ‘Toby must have noticed me inspecting the pages, as he snatched them from my view in a swift movement.’
    • ‘This condition should be used when inspecting firearms as well as storing them in secure areas.’
    • ‘He runs outside and inspects the car for any telltale signs of the encounter.’
    • ‘I inspected it closely and noticed a couple of things that may have been the cause of the problem.’
    • ‘I watch as John starts to log the vehicle's details on his computer, but am slightly puzzled when he leans over and closely inspects its wheels.’
    • ‘After closely inspecting the truck and its cargo and searching the two boys they motioned them to go on.’
    • ‘She was shocked and horrified when she went to inspect the premises and discovered the extent of the damage.’
    1. 1.1Examine (someone or something) to ensure that they reach an official standard.
      ‘customs officers came aboard to inspect our documents’
      • ‘It would be normal procedure for any incoming tenant to have the building inspected by the surveyor, and that is what they did.’
      • ‘I have instructed a Building Surveyor to inspect the works and am awaiting his report.’
      • ‘The Authority is able to monitor compliance with the law and directions by inspecting licensed premises.’
      • ‘The CDC, which oversees cruise ship sanitation, inspects all vessels calling upon U.S. ports, and Texas-based ships have received good reports.’
      • ‘Licensed fur farms are inspected to assess compliance with the Council of Europe recommendations.’
      • ‘Food officers also regularly inspect their premises to ensure they comply with the regulations.’
      • ‘This means that their entire nuclear programme is continually being inspected and monitored.’
      • ‘Since that time the parties have been unable to agree upon the procedure for inspecting and producing the documents.’
      • ‘You of course have copies of the documents you now wish to inspect.’
      • ‘No constable or bailiff can knock at the door and demand entry so as to inspect papers or documents.’
      • ‘The ministry has created a special department for environmental inspection, which regularly inspects industrial plants and assesses their compliance with environment law.’
      • ‘The difficulty is that the court must decide whether the document has been inadvertently inspected.’
      • ‘Health and safety experts are currently inspecting the building to check that it's safe.’
      • ‘This means it will be given extra cash to improve standards, and will be regularly inspected by Government teams.’
      • ‘The accepted practice is that a consultant simply reviews the contractor's work, while a supervisor inspects and directs the work.’
      • ‘Operators who will be inspecting and testing the systems also must be sufficiently trained.’
      • ‘A regulatory organisation of both regional and international credibility, SANAS inspects laboratories to ensure they conform to international standards before they are accredited.’
      • ‘Three other incoming jets were asked to over-fly the airport while safety officials inspected the runway.’
      • ‘Periodically, they are visited by a sinister official who inspects their papers and sometimes buys or confiscates a new fiddle.’
      • ‘Labor Ready says it inspects job sites to ensure safety and requires workers to report unsafe conditions, but many employees tell a different story.’
      examine, scrutinize, vet, investigate, test, monitor, survey, study, go over, look over, look at, take a look at, pore over, view, scan, observe, explore, probe, subject to an examination, subject to an inspection, go over with a fine-tooth comb
      assess, appraise, review
      check out, give something the once-over, give something a going-over, give something a look-see
      View synonyms


Early 17th century (earlier ( late Middle English) as inspection): from Latin inspect- looked into, examined, from the verb inspicere (from in- in + specere look at), or from its frequentative, inspectare.