AskDefine | Define inspect

Dictionary Definition



1 look over carefully; "Please inspect your father's will carefully"
2 come to see in an official or professional capacity; "The governor visited the prison"; "The grant administrator visited the laboratory" [syn: visit]
3 of accounts and tax returns; with the intent to verify [syn: audit, scrutinize, scrutinise]

User Contributed Dictionary




Latin inspicere (participial stem inspect-), literally "look into": in “in” + specere “look at.”


  1. to examine critically or carefully; especially, to search out problems or determine condition; to scrutinize
    Inspect the system for leaks.
  2. to view and examine officially
    He inspected the troops and their barracks.


Extensive Definition

An inspection is, most generally, an organised examination or formal evaluation exercise. It involves the measurements, tests, and gauges applied to certain characteristics in regard to an object or activity. The results are usually compared to specified requirements and standards for determining whether the item or activity is in line with these targets. Inspections are usually non-destructive.
Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) or Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) describe a number of technologies used to analyze materials for either inherent flaws or damage from use. Some common methods are visual, Liquid or Dye Penetrant, Magnetic Particle, Radiography, Ultrasonics, eddy Current, Acoustic Emission and Thermography.

Specific instances


In international trade several destination countries require pre-shipment inspection. The importer instructs the shipper which inspection company should be used. The inspector makes pictures and a report to certify that the goods that are being shipped and producted are in accordance with the accompanying documents.


In government and politics, an inspection is the act of a monitoring authority administering an official review of various criteria (such as documents, facilities, records, and any other assets) that are deemed by the authority to be related to the inspection. Inspections are used for the purpose of determining if a body is complying with regulations. The inspector examines the criteria and talks with involved individuals. A report and evaluation follows such visits.
The Food Safety Inspection Service is charged with ensuring that all meat and egg products in the United States are safe to consume and accurately labeled. The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to order meat inspections and condemn any found unfit for human consumption. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission is a regulatory body that inspects for weapons of mass destruction. The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care regulates and inspects care services in Scotland.


A vehicle inspection, e.g., an annual inspection, is a necessary inspection required on vehicles to conform with laws regarding safety, emissions, or both.
An "automobile inspection" is an examination of a vehicle's components, usually done by a certified mechanic. Vehicles pass a pre-warranty inspection, if, and only if, a mechanic provide evidence for the proper working condition of the vehicle systems specified in the type of inspection. Quality related inspection is the must in Quality control.
A mechanical inspection is usually undertaken to ensure the safety or reliability of structures or machinery.


An medical inspection is the thorough and unhurried visualization of a client, this requires the use of the naked eye.

Real estate

A property inspection is the examination for purposes of evaluating a property's condition. In purchasing property, a "whole house inspection" tries to detect defects in the property. The railroad's inspection locomotive were special types of steam locomotive designed to carry railroad officials on inspection tours of the railroad property.

Software engineering

Software inspection, in software engineering, refers to peer review of any work product by trained individuals who look for defects using a well defined process.

See also

inspect in German: Technische Überprüfung
inspect in Japanese: 品質保証

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

autopsy, canvass, catechize, check, check out, check over, check up, check up on, con, contemplate, examine, eye, give an examination, give the eye, give the once-over, go over, hard look, inquire, interrogate, investigate, leer, leer at, look at, look over, monitor, notice, observe, ogle, ogle at, overhaul, overlook, pass over, pass under review, peer at, peruse, pore, pore over, postmortem, question, review, run over, scan, scrutinize, set an examination, size, size up, study, survey, take a long, take stock of, take the measure, vet, view
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