late 14c., from Old French inspeccion "inspection, examination" (13c., Modern French inspection), from Latin inspectionem (nominative inspectio) "a looking into," noun of action from past participle stem of inspicere "look at, observe, view; look into, inspect, examine," from in- "into" (from PIE root *en "in") + specere "to look" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Old English used onbesceawung as a loan-translation of Latin inspectio. Related: Inspectional.
It forms all or part of: aspect; auspex; auspices; auspicious; bishop; circumspect; conspicuous; despicable; despise; episcopal; especial; espionage; espy; expect; frontispiece; gyroscope; haruspex; horoscope; inspect; inspection; inspector; introspect; introspection; perspective; perspicacious; perspicacity; prospect; prospective; respect; respite; retrospect; scope; -scope; scopophilia; -scopy; skeptic; species; specimen; specious; spectacle; spectacular; spectrum; speculate; speculation; speculum; spice; spy; suspect; suspicion; suspicious; telescope.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit spasati "sees;" Avestan spasyeiti "spies;" Greek skopein "behold, look, consider," skeptesthai "to look at," skopos "watcher, one who watches;" Latin specere "to look at;" Old High German spehhon "to spy," German spähen "to spy."