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

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Other Words from check

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for check

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Compression, caching and image file sizes are important to check on, too. Yec, Forbes, "How Google’s Page Experience Update Announcement Can Benefit Search Engine Optimization," 12 Apr. 2021 There are six-foot distancing markers on the ground, clear dividers set up on student desks, and devices at school entrances that check temperatures and dispense a pump of hand sanitizer. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Excited and stressed, San Diego’s educators prepare for first day of in-person school Monday," 11 Apr. 2021 While Muerdter says his lists are not exhaustive and still recommends that Americans check other locations as well -- like county and state websites -- dozens of grateful users have posted success stories on social media. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "He built a website showing open Covid-19 vaccine appointments across the US. Some call it a lifesaver," 11 Apr. 2021 The helipad at the Benetti shipyard, where customers can touch down to check on their vessels mid-build. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, "How This Unassuming Tuscan Town Became the Epicenter of the Superyacht World," 11 Apr. 2021 Maddon then countered, asking the umpires to check if Davis’ slide was legal. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Angels wait out long rain delay and long review, then are crushed by Blue Jays," 11 Apr. 2021 The best way to start finding the right gloss for you is to first check for a couple of key ingredients, according to New York City colorist Rachel Bodt. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "How to Apply a Store-Bought Hair Gloss at Home," 10 Apr. 2021 The three-person trailbreaking crew had already been en route to check on the idle musher. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "“Send help now”: Two mushers describe the events that led to their rescue from the Kobuk 440 race trail," 10 Apr. 2021 Make sure to check your state's local health guidelines before purchasing any tickets. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Where to Watch and Stream the Oscar-Nominated Movie 'Promising Young Woman'," 10 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Briefly: Colorado defenseman Jacob MacDonald was suspended for two games for a check to the head of Minnesota forward Ryan Hartman on Wednesday. ... Chronicle News Services, San Francisco Chronicle, "Oilers complete nine-game sweep of Senators," 8 Apr. 2021 Unfortunately, anyone who was claimed as a dependent on someone else's return wasn't eligible for a check of their own, so college students were ineligible. Josh Rivera, USA TODAY, "This is America: Make the most of your taxes (we're looking at you, Gen Z)," 8 Apr. 2021 Are all of us going to be waiting on a fourth stimulus check update soon? Andy Meek, BGR, "What are the odds you’ll get a fourth stimulus check after your $1,400 check?," 6 Apr. 2021 Police in Allen, a Dallas suburb, went to the home for a welfare check at around 1 a.m. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Texas home shooting leaves six family members dead," 6 Apr. 2021 Robertsdale police officers responded to the home on Devine Road around 2:46 p.m. Sunday for a welfare check after the victims’ neighbor could not contact them after trying to deliver a package. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "2 found dead in burned Baldwin County home; state investigating," 6 Apr. 2021 Waiting for this third stimulus check makes those of us who rely on benefits feel like second-class citizens. Washington Post, "Social Security recipients, veterans and other federal beneficiaries want to know: When’s my stimulus check coming?," 26 Mar. 2021 Each guest will be required for a temperature check. Larry Fleisher, Forbes, "Yankees, Mets To Allow Limited Capacity For Home Games," 18 Mar. 2021 Match’s latest step this week involves plans for a screening check. Brian Edwards, ProPublica, "Tinder and OkCupid Could Soon Let You Background Check Your Date — for a Price," 18 Mar. 2021

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

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

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Time Traveler for check

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for check

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Check.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/check. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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
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

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