check

noun
\ ˈchek How to pronounce check (audio) \

Definition of check

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : exposure of a chess king to an attack from which he must be protected or moved to safety with his king in check
2a : 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)
3 : a sudden pause or break in a progression the invaders coming in without a check
4 archaic : reprimand, rebuke
5 : one that arrests, limits, or restrains : restraint against all checks, rebukes, and manners, I must advance— William Shakespeare
6a : a standard for testing and evaluation : criterion
b : examination a quick check of the engine
c : inspection, investigation a loyalty check on government employees
d : the act of testing or verifying making a check on the data also : the sample or unit used for testing or verifying
7 : 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?
8a : a ticket or token showing ownership or identity or indicating payment made a baggage check
b : a counter in various games
c : a slip indicating the amount due : bill ask the waiter for the 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 : a mark typically ✓ placed beside an item to show it has been noted, examined, or verified
11 : crack, break
in check
: under restraint or control trying to keep his emotions in check

check

verb
checked; checking; checks

Definition of check (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to put (a chess king) in check
2 chiefly dialectal : rebuke, reprimand
3a : to slow or bring to a stop : brake hastily checked the impulse
b : to block the progress of (someone, such as a hockey player)
4a : 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
5a : to compare with a source, original, or authority : verify needs to check her facts
b : to inspect, examine, or look at appraisingly usually used with out or over checking out new cars
c : to mark with a check as examined, verified, or satisfactory often used with off checked off each item
d : to look at (something) to obtain information checking a watch to see the time check a map/schedule
e : 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
f : to access (e-mail, voice mail, etc.) to find out if there are messages kept checking her voice mail throughout the day
6a : 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
7 : to mark into squares : checker check the cloth
8 : to leave or accept for safekeeping in a checkroom check a coat
9 : to make checks or chinks : cause to crack the sun checks timber

intransitive verb

1a 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
2a : 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
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

interjection

Definition of check (Entry 3 of 3)

used to express assent or agreement

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Other Words from check

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for check

Synonyms: Noun

bill, tab

Synonyms: Verb

accord, agree, answer, chord, cohere, coincide, comport, conform, consist, correspond, dovetail, fit, go, harmonize, jibe, rhyme (also rime), sort, square, tally

Antonyms: Verb

differ (from), disagree (with)

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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

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall outing was a celebration of tailoring, in which some pieces, like a check dress with a corset revealing bodice, deliberately looked undone. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Ghosting—The Fall Fashion Edition," 1 Apr. 2019 Jupiter starts its retrograde on Wednesday, April 10 (ending on August 11), kickstarting a time of inventory check. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Leo Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 All the while, Dee Dee collected checks from charities and the government and played the role of the doting mother in public. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "What Is Gypsy Rose Blanchard Doing Now? Hulu's 'The Act' Tells Her Story," 20 Mar. 2019 On March 20, Instagram officially launched in-app check-out for shoppable posts from select retailers. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Instagram Launches In-App Purchasing," 19 Mar. 2019 The Manchin-Toomey bill, the only gun legislation in Congress after Sandy Hook that came close to becoming law, didn’t even establish universal background checks. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 Among her highlights are the checks and menswear-inspired tailoring at Christian Dior, Givenchy, and Balenciaga; the eclectic spirit at Etro, Marni, and Paco Rabanne; and the dark, brooding romance of Prada, Valentino, and Alexander McQueen. Vogue, "Anna Wintour Shares Her Milan and Paris Fashion Week Highlights," 14 Mar. 2019 The Florida Legislature is considering a recommendation by the state commission that investigated the shooting to allow school districts to arm volunteer teachers who undergo background checks and training. Terry Spencer, The Seattle Times, "Education unions oppose calls to arm teachers," 11 Feb. 2019 In North Carolina, where Republicans hold majorities in the legislature, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper asked lawmakers a few weeks after the Florida school shooting to pass new gun regulations, including more background checks and permit requirements. Ryan J. Foley, Fox News, "AP: Despite shootings, states return to familiar patterns," 26 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In these cases, the field referee is now invited to check the validity of his decision on the screen. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "German federation calls for more usage of VAR," 2 Nov. 2017 If your gal pal never makes an effort to check up on you via text, call, Facebook messenger, smoke signal, etc. Jessica Ariel Wendroff, Teen Vogue, "5 Signs It's Time to Break Up With Your BFF," 2 Nov. 2017 So there’s such demand for investors to check the Boise market. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "Why did a firm owned by one of the richest women in the U.S. just buy BoDo in Boise?," 31 Oct. 2017 Audiences were evacuated at seven cinemas in central Moscow, when police were forced to check for explosives after bomb threats were phoned in. Nick Holdsworth, The Hollywood Reporter, "Russia Box Office: Local-Language Disney Film Beats Controversial 'Matilda'," 30 Oct. 2017 When the timer goes off, check the eggs: the whites should be just set and opaque. Sarah Rense, Esquire, "A Completely Foolproof Guide to Perfectly Poaching an Egg," 30 Oct. 2017 If the separation worsens, make an appointment with your doctor to check things out. Sarah Kinonen, Allure, "People Are Ripping Off Their Ingrown Toenails and Filming It," 26 Oct. 2017 Some crematoriums use handheld metal detectors to check for undisclosed implants. Melissa Jayne Kinsey, Slate Magazine, "Going Out With a Bang," 26 Oct. 2017 Twitter, for example, will ban official Russian news outlets while Facebook plans to do better fact-checking on its news feed and will reveal the sources of political ads. The Christian Science Monitor, "Social media shine a light on themselves," 4 Nov. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of check

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

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Statistics for check

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for check

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

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More Definitions for check

check

verb

English Language Learners Definition of check

: to look at (something) carefully to find mistakes, problems, etc., or to make sure there is nothing wrong with it
: to get information by looking at something, asking about something, etc.
: to look at or in (a place) in order to find or get something or someone

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
cashierʼs 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on check

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with check

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for check

Spanish Central: Translation of check

Nglish: Translation of check for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of check for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about check

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