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[in-spek-ter] /ɪnˈspɛk tər/
a person who inspects.
an officer appointed to inspect.
a police officer usually ranking next below a superintendent.
Origin of inspector
1595-1605; < Latin, equivalent to inspec-, variant stem of inspicere (see inspect) + -tor -tor
Related forms
inspectoral, inspectorial
[in-spek-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ˌɪn spɛkˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
inspectorship, noun
preinspector, noun
subinspector, noun
subinspectorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inspector
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Yes, inspector," Mary replied pleasantly, as she advanced into the room.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • "You'd better be packing your trunk," the inspector rumbled.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • inspector Burke himself filled the void in the halting sentence.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • inspector Burke will tell you how easy it is for me to get it.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The inspector spoke the simple truth as he knew it from years of experience.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
British Dictionary definitions for inspector


a person who inspects, esp an official who examines for compliance with regulations, standards, etc
a police officer ranking below a superintendent or chief inspector and above a sergeant
Derived Forms
inspectoral, inspectorial (ˌɪnspɛkˈtɔːrɪəl) adjective
inspectorship, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inspector

c.1600, "overseer, superintendent," from Latin inspector, agent noun from past participle stem of inspicere (see inspection). As a police ranking between sergeant and superintendent, it dates from 1840. Related: Inspectorial. Of the 18c. feminine formations, inspectrix (1715) is earlier than inspectress (1785).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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