When you inspect something, you look at it carefully. When you're buying a used car, you should inspect it inside and out, and if you don't know much about what goes on under the hood, you should have a mechanic inspect it, too.

Inspect means literally "to look into," and includes the Latin root that you find in lots of other words related to "look" — spectacle, respect, and spectator for instance. If you work in a restaurant, you may see a health department official come to inspect the operation, to make sure everything is clean and the food is stored and cooked properly and that the restaurant doesn't have any health code violations that might make your diners sick.

Definitions of inspect
  1. verb
    look over carefully
    “Please inspect your father's will carefully”
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    go over, review, survey
    hold a review (of troops)
    make an official inspection on foot of (the bounds of a property)
    look over, usually with the intention to rob
    examine carefully
    type of:
    examine, see
    observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
  2. verb
    examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification
    synonyms: audit, scrutinise, scrutinize
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    type of:
    analyse, analyze, canvas, canvass, delve, examine, parse, study
    consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
  3. verb
    come to see in an official or professional capacity
    synonyms: visit
Word Family

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