[ 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inspector

British Dictionary definitions for inspector


/ (ɪnˈspɛktə) /


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 Formsinspectoral or inspectorial (ˌɪnspɛkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjectiveinspectorship, 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

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