Definition of inspect verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    inspect

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈspekt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈspekt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they inspect
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈspekt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈspekt//
     
    he / she / it inspects
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈspekts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈspekts//
     
    past simple inspected
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈspektɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈspektɪd//
     
    past participle inspected
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈspektɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈspektɪd//
     
    -ing form inspecting
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈspektɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈspektɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1to look closely at something/somebody, especially to check that everything is as it should be synonym examine inspect something/somebody The teacher walked around inspecting their work. Make sure you inspect the goods before signing for them. inspect something/somebody for something The plants are regularly inspected for disease. Synonymscheckexamine inspect go over somethingThese words all mean to look closely to make sure that everything is correct, in good condition, or acceptable.check to look at something closely to make sure that everything is correct, in good condition, safe or satisfactory:Check your work before handing it in.examine to look at somebody/​something closely to see if there is anything wrong or to find the cause of a problem:The goods were examined for damage on arrival.inspect to look at somebody/​something closely to make sure that everything is satisfactory; to officially visit a school, factory, etc. in order to check that rules are being obeyed and that standards are acceptable:Make sure you inspect the goods before signing for them. The Tourist Board inspects all recommended hotels at least once a year.check, examine or inspect?All these words can be used when you are looking for possible problems, but only check is used for mistakes:Examine/​Inspect your work before handing it in. Only examine is used when looking for the cause of a problem:The doctor checked/​inspected her but could find nothing wrong. Examine is used more often about a professional person:The surveyor examined the walls for signs of damp.Inspect is used more often about an official:Public health officials were called in to inspect the restaurant.go over something to check something carefully for mistakes, damage or anything dangerous:Go over your work for spelling mistakes before you hand it in.Patterns to check/​examine/​inspect/​go over (something) for something to check/​examine/​inspect/​go over something to see if/​whether… to check/​examine/​inspect/​go over something carefully/​thoroughly
  2. 2inspect something to officially visit a school, factory, etc. in order to check that rules are being obeyed and that standards are acceptable Public health officials were called in to inspect the premises. The Tourist Board inspects all recommended hotels at least once a year. Synonymscheckexamine inspect go over somethingThese words all mean to look closely to make sure that everything is correct, in good condition, or acceptable.check to look at something closely to make sure that everything is correct, in good condition, safe or satisfactory:Check your work before handing it in.examine to look at somebody/​something closely to see if there is anything wrong or to find the cause of a problem:The goods were examined for damage on arrival.inspect to look at somebody/​something closely to make sure that everything is satisfactory; to officially visit a school, factory, etc. in order to check that rules are being obeyed and that standards are acceptable:Make sure you inspect the goods before signing for them. The Tourist Board inspects all recommended hotels at least once a year.check, examine or inspect?All these words can be used when you are looking for possible problems, but only check is used for mistakes:Examine/​Inspect your work before handing it in. Only examine is used when looking for the cause of a problem:The doctor checked/​inspected her but could find nothing wrong. Examine is used more often about a professional person:The surveyor examined the walls for signs of damp.Inspect is used more often about an official:Public health officials were called in to inspect the restaurant.go over something to check something carefully for mistakes, damage or anything dangerous:Go over your work for spelling mistakes before you hand it in.Patterns to check/​examine/​inspect/​go over (something) for something to check/​examine/​inspect/​go over something to see if/​whether… to check/​examine/​inspect/​go over something carefully/​thoroughly
  3. Word Origin early 17th cent. (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.Extra examples He inspected the water tank carefully for cracks. The first step is to visually inspect the ground, looking for rocks and lumps. Public health officials were called in to inspect the restaurant. The teacher walked around the classroom inspecting the children’s work.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: inspect