check

verb
\ ˈchek How to pronounce check (audio) \
checked; checking; checks

Definition of check

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to inspect, examine, or look at appraisingly or appreciatively usually used with out or over The doctors checked him over for injuries.checking out new carsAnd so no, I won't help you to find a way to check out women in front of your wife.— Amy Dickinson
b : to compare with a source, original, or authority : verify needs to check her facts
c : to look at (something) to obtain information checking a watch to see the time check a map/schedule
d : to look or reach into (something) to find what is there Harry glanced around at Fred, who was looking anxious and checking his pockets.— J. K. Rowling
e : to access (email, voice mail, etc.) to find out if there are messages kept checking her voice mail throughout the day
f : to mark with a check as examined, verified, or satisfactory often used with off checked off each item
2a : to slow or bring to a stop : brake hastily checked the impulse
b : to block the progress of (someone, such as a hockey player)
3 : to leave or accept for safekeeping in a checkroom check a coat
4a : to consign (something, such as luggage) to a common carrier from which one has purchased a passenger ticket checked our bags before boarding
b : to ship or accept for shipment under such a consignment
5a : to restrain or diminish the action or force of : control tried to thwart or check our purposes in the legislature
b : to slack or ease off (a rope) and then belay again
6 : to mark into squares : checker check the cloth
7 : to put (a chess king) in check
8 : to make checks or chinks : cause to crack the sun checks timber
9 chiefly dialectal : rebuke, reprimand

intransitive verb

1a : to investigate conditions checked on the passengers' safety
b : to prove to be consistent or truthful The description checks with the photograph. often used with out The story checked out.
c : to look at or in something to see or find what is there check for messages on a cell phone
2a of a dog : to stop in a chase especially when scent is lost
b : to halt through caution, uncertainty, or fear : stop The train checked with a jolt …— B. A. Williams
3 : to draw a check on a bank
4 : to waive the right to initiate the betting in a round of poker
5 : crack, split Drying wood can cause it to check.
check into
1 : to check in at check into a hotel
2 : investigate The police are checking into his alibi.
check that
informal
used to take back or correct a previous statement "Sir, I don't know why but there must be a foot or two of water coming down Claiborne. No, check that—three feet."— Christopher Cooper and Robert Block
check up on
: investigate check up on a possible investment

check

noun

Definition of check (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : examination a quick check of the engine
b : the act of testing or verifying making a check on the data also : the sample or unit used for testing or verifying
c : inspection, investigation a loyalty check on government employees
d : a standard for testing and evaluation : criterion
2 : a written order directing a bank to pay money as instructed : draft Do you want to pay in cash, by check, or by credit card?
3 : one that arrests, limits, or restrains : restraint … against all checks, rebukes, and manners, I must advance …— William Shakespeare
4a : a sudden stoppage of a forward course or progress : arrest The outbreak of war in 1939 gave a sudden check to the sculptor's work.— Herbert Read
b : a checking of an opposing player (as in ice hockey)
5 : a sudden pause or break in a progression the invaders coming in without a check
6a : a slip indicating the amount due : bill Ask the waiter for the check.
b : a ticket or token showing ownership or identity or indicating payment made a baggage check
c : a counter in various games
7 : a mark typically ✓ placed beside an item to show it has been noted, examined, or verified
8 : exposure of a chess king to an attack from which he must be protected or moved to safety with his king in check
9 [Middle English chek, short for cheker checker]
a : a pattern in squares that resembles a checkerboard bordered her plain shower curtain with a check in coordinating bathroom colors
b : a fabric woven or printed with such a design Fashionable checks come in all sizes and colors in both twill and square weaves.
10 : crack, break
11 archaic : reprimand, rebuke
in check
: under restraint or control trying to keep his emotions in check

check

interjection

Definition of check (Entry 3 of 3)

used to express assent or agreement

Other Words from check

Noun

checkless \ ˈchek-​ləs How to pronounce check (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for check

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for check

Verb

restrain, check, curb, bridle mean to hold back from or control in doing something. restrain suggests holding back by force or persuasion from acting or from going to extremes. restrained themselves from laughing check implies restraining or impeding a progress, activity, or impetus. trying to check government spending curb suggests an abrupt or drastic checking. learn to curb your appetite bridle implies keeping under control by subduing or holding in. bridle an impulse to throw the book down

Examples of check in a Sentence

Verb Make sure to check your spelling. She checked her makeup in the mirror. We should check the equipment to make sure that it's working properly. The guards checked my passport. He checked his watch and saw that it was almost noon. I'll just check the map to see where we are. I'll check the newspaper to see when the movie starts. If you're looking for a spoon, check the top drawer. I checked his office but he wasn't there. If you're looking for the umbrella, check in the closet. Noun Please give the schedule a check to see if the times are correct. I gave the ingredients list a quick check to see if the cereal contained any sugar. She ran a quick check of the computer to make sure it was working properly. The police ran a check on the license plate and found out that the car had been stolen. He was penalized for an illegal check. He made out the check to me and signed it, and I deposited it in my account. Do you want to pay in cash, by check, or by credit card? a fabric with a blue and yellow check See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Get the ball rolling on your summer shopping while these deals are still fresh, and be sure to check back for even more savings now until May 30. Taylor Giangregorio, Popular Mechanics, 18 May 2022 Be sure to check back leading up to the lottery and during the lottery for live updates. oregonlive, 17 May 2022 So, be sure to check back here as the best red carpet looks from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival are updated in real time. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 17 May 2022 Their sizing runs differently than other brands, so be sure to check the size guide. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 17 May 2022 So stay tuned for more news and be sure to check back here regularly for updates and opinions. Mark Hughes, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Be sure to check if your destination is one of them. Karen Kaplanscience And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 Many folding treadmills have rather low maximum weight limitations, so be sure to check that the treadmill can accommodate your weight. Amber Sayer, SELF, 2 May 2022 There are some pharmacies that will also vaccinate young kids, but make sure to check with your local pharmacy. Katia Hetter, CNN, 29 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For instance, after paying for and attending a networking event, immediately follow up with your new connections, and continue to follow up with meaningful messages rather than a simple check-in. Natasha Miller, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Many hotel bars and restaurants have shut down or offer only limited service, and technology has replaced many transactions that once involved human beings, such as front-desk check-in, bill payment and room-key delivery. New York Times, 15 May 2022 At check-in, a guest would be greeted by a spa attendant who would make a visual assessment of their size, and guide them to a particular locker accordingly. Dianna Mazzone, Allure, 6 May 2022 Travelers will also be required to show proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of their arrival upon check-in. Francesca Street, CNN, 4 May 2022 Participants should arrive 10 minutes early for check-in. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 As of Sunday, visitors to Italy also no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, a complicated online ordeal required at airport check-in. Fox News, 1 May 2022 As of Sunday, visitors to Italy also no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, a complicated online ordeal required at airport check-in. Nicole Winfield, ajc, 1 May 2022 For example, the Vrbo site and app allows users to filter properties by cancellation policies, with its most lenient policy offering a full refund up to 14 days before check-in. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'check.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of check

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 7

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 8

Interjection

1922, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for check

Noun and Verb

Middle English chek, from Anglo-French eschec, from Arabic shāh, from Persian, literally, king; akin to Greek ktasthai to acquire, Sanskrit kṣatra dominion

Learn More About check

Time Traveler for check

Time Traveler

The first known use of check was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near check

Chechnya

check

checkable

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for check

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Check.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/check. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for check

check

noun
\ ˈchek How to pronounce check (audio) \

Kids Definition of check

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sudden stopping of progress : pause The anchor gave a check to the ship's motion.
2 : something that delays, stops, or holds back The new penalty will serve as a check on pollution.
3 : examination sense 1, investigation a safety check
4 : a written order telling a bank to pay out money from a person's account to the one named on the order
5 : a ticket or token showing a person's ownership, identity, or claim to something a baggage check
6 : a slip of paper showing the amount due
7 : a pattern in squares The shirt has a blue and red check.
8 : a mark ✓ typically placed beside a written or printed item to show that something has been specially noted
9 : an act of hitting or stopping a player in hockey
10 : a situation in chess in which a player's king can be captured on the opponent's next turn
in check
: under control Try to keep your emotions in check.

check

verb
checked; checking

Kids Definition of check (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to slow or bring to a stop A bandage checked the bleeding. The batter checked his swing.
2 : to hold back or under control You must check your temper.
3 : to make sure that something is correct or satisfactory Don't forget to check your spelling. I'll have to check the time with my mom.
4 : to get information by examining He checked his watch.
5 : to mark with a check Check the correct answer.
6 : to leave or accept for safekeeping or for shipment check baggage
7 : to stop or hit (a player) in hockey
check out
1 : to look at Check out his new car.
2 : to borrow from a library She checked out two books.
3 : to pay for purchases

check

noun

Legal Definition of check

1 : something that limits or restrains — see also checks and balances
2 : a written order signed by its maker directing a bank to pay a specified sum to a named person or to that person's order on demand — see also negotiable instrument — compare draft
bank check
: a check drawn by a bank on its deposits in another bank
cashier's check
: a check drawn by a bank on its own funds and signed by the cashier or another bank official
certified check
: a check certified to be good by the bank upon which it is drawn by the signature of usually the cashier or paying teller with the word certified or accepted across the face of the check
NSF check Not Sufficient Funds
: a check drawn on an account with insufficient funds from which to make payment

More from Merriam-Webster on check

Nglish: Translation of check for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of check for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about check

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!