- An action or influence that stops motion or expression; a restraint: Heavy rains were a check on the army's advance.
- The condition of being stopped or held back; restraint: kept my temper in check; holding agricultural pests in check with sprays.
- An abrupt stop in forward movement or progress; a halt.
- The act or an instance of inspecting or testing, as for accuracy or quality; examination: the careful check of each unit before sale; gave the car an oil check.
- A standard for inspecting or evaluating; a test.
- A check mark.
- A ticket or slip of identification: a baggage check.
- A bill at a restaurant or bar.
- Games A chip or counter used in gambling.
- A written order to a bank to pay the amount specified from funds on deposit; a draft.
- A small crack; a chink.
a. A pattern of small squares, as on a chessboard.
b. One of the squares of such a pattern.
c. A fabric patterned with squares: a dress of pale green check.
a. A move in chess that directly attacks an opponent's king but does not constitute a checkmate.
b. The position or condition of a king so attacked.
- Sports The act of blocking or impeding an opponent in possession of the puck in ice hockey, either with one's body or one's stick.
- Games Used to declare that a chess opponent's king is in check.
- Informal Used to express agreement or understanding.
, checks verb, transitive
- To arrest the motion of abruptly; halt: checked the flow by shutting a valve.
- To hold in restraint; curb: check an impulse to laugh. See Synonyms at restrain.
- To slow the growth of; retard.
- To rebuke; rebuff.
- To inspect so as to determine accuracy, quality, or other condition; test: checked the brakes and lights for defects; checked out the system to make sure there were no errors in the software.
- To verify by consulting a source or authority: checked her facts before speaking; check a spelling in the dictionary.
- To put a check mark on or next to: checked off each item on the shopping list.
- To deposit for temporary safekeeping: checked his coat at the door.
- To consign (luggage, for example) for shipment on a transportation vehicle: checked her bags and boarded the plane.
- To make cracks or chinks in: Sunlight dried and checked the paint.
- Games To move in chess so as to put (an opponent's king) under direct attack.
- Sports To block or impede (an opposing player in possession of the puck) in ice hockey by using one's body or one's stick.
Phrasal Verbs: check in
- To come to an abrupt halt; stop.
- To agree point for point; correspond: The fingerprints checked with the ones on file.
- To be verified or confirmed; pass inspection: The suspect's story checked out.
- To make an examination or investigation; inquire: phoned to check on the departure time; checked into the rumor.
- To write a check on a bank account.
- To undergo cracking in a pattern of checks, as paint does.
- Games To place a chess opponent's king in check.
a. To pause to relocate a scent. Used of hunting dogs.
b. To abandon the proper game and follow baser prey. Used of trained falcons.
- Sports To block or impede an opposing player in possession of the puck in ice hockey.
To register, as at a hotel. check out
To settle one's bill and leave a hotel or other place of lodging. To withdraw (an item) after recording the withdrawal: check out books.
To record and total up the prices of and receive payment for (items being purchased) at a retail store: The cashier checked out and bagged my order. Slang
To die. check over
To look over; examine: The teacher checked the students' papers over.
Origin: Middle English chek, check in chess
Origin: , from Old French eschec
Origin: , from Arabic shāh
Origin: , from Persian, king, check; see shah
Related Forms:Word History:
The words check
, and shah
are all related. Shah,
as one might think, is a borrowing into English of the Persian title for the monarch of that country. The Persian word shāh
was also a term used in chess, a game played in Persia long before it was introduced to Europe. One said shāh
as a warning when the opponent's king was under attack. The Persian word in this sense, after passing through Arabic, probably Old Spanish, and then Old French, came into Middle English as chek
about seven hundred years ago. Chess
itself comes from a plural form of the Old French word that gave us the word check. Checkmate,
the next stage after check,
goes back to the Arabic phrase shāh māt,
meaning “the king is dead.” Through a complex development having to do with senses that evolved from the notion of checking the king, check
came to mean something used to ensure accuracy or authenticity. One such means was a counterfoil, a part of a check, for example, retained by the issuer as documentation of a transaction. Check
first meant “counterfoil” and then came to mean anything, such as a bill or bank draft, with a counterfoil—or eventually even without one.