to stop the motion of suddenly or with force; restrain:[~ + object]The pilot checked his speed and landed quickly.
to examine or test the correctness of, such as by comparison:[~ + object]I checked the answers on the exam.
to prove to be right:[no object]Well, everything checks; the butler committed the murder.
to inspect or test the condition, safety, etc., of:[~ + object]We had our mechanic check the car for any damage.
to mark so as to indicate choice, completion, etc.: [~ + object]Check the box next to the item you think is right.[~ + off + object]I checked off the items on the shopping list.[~ + object + off]I checked them off as I went down the list.
to search through to find (something); make an inquiry (into): [~ + object]You'll have to check the files for the letter.[~ + into + object]You'll have to check into those missing files, too.
[~ + object] to leave (personal belongings) to be kept temporarily: Check your coats at the door.
to leave (baggage) to be sent on, as at an airport:[~ + object]We checked our suitcases and walked to the gate for our flight.
Textiles[~ + object] to mark with or in a pattern of squares: The fabric was checked.
check in,[no object] to register or report one's arrival:Check in at the counter and pick up your boarding passes there.
check (up) on,[~ ( + up) + on + object] to investigate or inspect:wondered why they were checking (up) on him.
[no object] to leave a hotel, etc., officially, esp. after settling one's account:Let's check out early and get on the road by 6:30.
[no object] to prove to be right or true:Well, his story checks out; there were witnesses who saw him.
to find out if something is right or true: [~ + out + object]Check out his story with the people in the bar.[~ + object + out]You'd better check him out again; I'm not sure he's innocent.
to prove to be in working condition or safe: [no object]This engine checks out; let's see if the problem occurs in the next one.[~ + out + object]Check out boiler number 10 and see if there's an overload.[~ + object + out]We'd better check it out.
to lend or borrow (an item) officially, as from a library: [~ + out + object]You can check out six books at a time.[~ + object + out]You can check six books out.
[no object][Informal.]to leave suddenly:He checked out of there fast.
Slang. to examine carefully: [~ + out + object]Hey, check out this car.[~ + object + out]I've got quality watches for sale; check them out.
BusinessAlso, Brit.,cheque.a written order directing a bank to pay money: [countable]He wrote her a check for fifty-five dollars.[uncountable; by + ~]I'll pay for this by check.
a slip showing an amount owed, esp. at a restaurant:[countable]The waitress wrote out our check.
a ticket given for items left in a checkroom, to customers waiting to be served, etc.:[countable]I lost my claim check for the luggage.
a mark, often indicated by (✓ ), to indicate that something has been noted, etc.:[countable]I put a check next to the items that you need to revise.
a search or examination:[countable]a quick check of the company records.
a test or inspection, such as to find out quality or performance:[countable]The mechanic ran a check on the engine.
a means of, or an act of, stopping or restraining:[countable]a check on his speed in the race.
a pattern formed of squares:[countable]pants with checks.
Chess, Games (in chess) the exposure of the king to direct attack:[uncountable]Your king is in check; you must move it or eliminate the attacker.
adj.[usually: before a noun]
serving to stop, control, etc.:a check valve.
ornamented with a checkered pattern; checkered:check pants.
Chess, Games(used as a call in chess to warn that an opponent's king is in check).
Informal Terms, Informal. all right! agreed!:"We'll be back for our cut, ok?'' "Check!''
Idiomsin check, kept controlled; under restraint: to hold one's anger in check.
check1(chek),USA pronunciationv., n., pl.checks or, for 45, chex,adj., interj. v.t.
to stop or arrest the motion of suddenly or forcibly:He checked the horse at the edge of the cliff.
to restrain; hold in restraint or control:They built a high wall to check the tides.
to cause a reduction, as in rate or intensity; diminish:The new measures checked the rapidity with which the epidemic was spreading.
to investigate or verify as to correctness:She checked the copy against the original.
to make an inquiry into, search through, etc.:We checked the files, but the letter was missing.
to inspect or test the performance, condition, safety, etc., of (something):Check a used car thoroughly before buying it.
to mark (something) so as to indicate examination, correctness, preference, etc. (often fol. by off):Please check the correct answer. They checked off the names of people they wanted to invite.
to leave in temporary custody:Check your umbrellas at the door.
to accept for temporary custody:We accept responsibility for any article we check here.
to send (baggage) on a passenger's ticket, usually on the same carrier used by the passenger, for pickup at the destination:We checked two trunks through to Portland.
to accept (baggage) for conveyance, and to convey, under the privilege of a passenger's ticket:Check this trunk to Portland.
to mark with or in a pattern of squares:to check fabric.
[Agric.]to plant in checkrows.
[Chess.]to place (an opponent's king) under direct attack.
[Ice Hockey.]to obstruct or impede the movement or progress of (an opponent). Cf. back-check, fore-check.
to prove to be right; correspond accurately:The reprint checks with the original, item for item.
to make an inquiry, investigation, etc., as for verification (often fol. by up, into, etc.):He checked to make sure his answer was correct. Check into the matter.
to make a sudden stop; pause:The horse checked before he jumped.
[Chess.]to make a move that puts the opponent's king under direct attack.
to crack or split, usually in small checks:Painted surfaces may check with age.
[Poker.]to decline to initiate the betting in a betting round, usually to force another player to make the first bet rather than raise it.
[Hunting.](of hounds) to stop, esp. because the line of scent has been lost.
[Falconry.](of a hawk) to forsake the proper prey and follow baser game (fol. by at).
check in, to register, as at a hotel; indicate one's arrival or presence at a place, function, etc., usually by signing an appropriate form:We checked in at the reception desk.
check on or up on, to investigate, scrutinize, or inspect:Don't forget to check on his work. We have to check up on him.
to vacate and pay for one's quarters at a hotel.
to verify or become verified; examine or investigate.
to fulfill requirements, as by passing a test:The engine checked out and we proceeded on our way.
to itemize, total the cost of, and collect payment for (a purchase):The supermarket cashier was exhausted from checking out groceries all day long.
to have the cost added up and pay for merchandise.
to borrow (an item) by having it listed as one's temporary responsibility:The adding machine was checked out in your name.
[Informal.]to depart quickly or abruptly; leave in a hurry.
check over, to examine or investigate, esp. thoroughly.
check the helm,[Naut.]to alter the helm of a turning vessel to keep the bow from swinging too far or too rapidly.
Also,[Brit.,]cheque.[Banking.]a written order, usually on a standard printed form, directing a bank to pay money.
a slip or ticket showing the amount owed, esp. a bill for food or beverages consumed.
a ticket or token that when matched with a counterpart identifies an article left in the temporary custody of another, the purchaser of a ticket, a person who is to be served next, etc.
a criterion, standard, or means to insure against error, fraud, etc.:This handmade sample is a check that the machine-made samples have to match.
an inquiry, search, or examination:We made a quick check but found nothing missing.
Also called check mark.a mark, often indicated by (✓), as on a list, to indicate that something has been considered, acted upon, or approved.
a person or thing that stops, limits, slows, or restrains:The increase of duty was an effective check on imports. He was a check on her enthusiasm.
a sudden arrest or stoppage; repulse; rebuff:Taxation caused a check in the accumulation of vast fortunes.
a control, test, or inspection that ascertains performance or prevents error:They ran a check on the dependability of the automobile.
a pattern formed of squares, as on a checkerboard.
one of the squares in such a pattern.
a fabric having a check pattern.
[Chess.]the exposure of the king to direct attack:The king was in check.
[Ice Hockey.]any of several maneuvers designed to obstruct or impede the forward progress of an opponent. Cf. board check, body check, cross-check (def. 5), hook check, poke check, sweep check.
a counter used in card games, as the chip in poker.
a small crack:There were several checks in the paint.
an egg, designated for market, having a slightly cracked shell and an intact inner membrane.
[Masonry.]a rabbet-shaped cutting on the edge of a stone, by which it is fitted to another stone.
the losing of the scent by a dog or pack.
(in fox hunting) a period in a hunt, following the losing of the scent by the hounds, during which the field rests quietly while the hounds cast to regain the scent.
in check, under restraint:He held his anger in check.
serving to check, control, verify, etc.:a check system.
ornamented with a checkered pattern; checkered:a check border.
[Chess.](used as a call to warn one's opponent that his or her king is exposed to direct attack, having just one move in which to escape or parry.)
[Informal.]all right! agreed!
Persian: literally, king (an exclamation: i.e., look out, your king is threatened); see shah
Arabic shāh check (at chess)
Old French eschec (by aphesis), variant of eschac
Middle English chek, chekke (at chess) 1275–1325
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See stop.
2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged hinder, hamper, obstruct, curtail; chain, bridle, hobble. Check,curb,repress,restrain refer to putting a control on movement, progress, action, etc. Check implies arresting suddenly, halting or causing to halt:to check a movement toward reform.Curb implies the use of a means such as a chain, strap, frame, wall, etc., to guide or control or to force to stay within definite limits:to curb a horse.Repress, formerly meaning to suppress, now implies preventing the action or development that might naturally be expected:to repress evidence of excitement.Restrain implies the use of force to put under control, or chiefly, to hold back:to restrain a person from violent acts.
6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged examine.
16.See corresponding entry in Unabridged agree.
30.See corresponding entry in Unabridged receipt, tab, counterfoil.
31.See corresponding entry in Unabridged coupon, tag, stub.
35.See corresponding entry in Unabridged obstacle, obstruction, hindrance, restriction, restraint, impediment, control, deterrent; bar, barrier; damper; curb, bridle, bit, rein.
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged advance.
check2(chek),USA pronunciationn.[South Midland and Southern U.S.]
Dialect Terms, ChessOften, checks. the game of checkers.
Dialect Terms, Chessany of the playing pieces used in this game.