Meaning of CHECK in English


I. check 1 S1 W2 /tʃek/ BrE AmE verb

1 . FIND OUT [intransitive and transitive] to do something in order to find out whether something really is correct, true, or in good condition:

Check the tiles carefully before you buy them.

A first rule in solving any mystery is to check the facts.

Fill in the cash book carefully and always check your calculations.

check (that)

Check that all the doors are locked securely.

check whether/how/who etc

Let me just check whether the potatoes are cooked.

They paused to check how the other climbers were getting on.

check (something) for something

I checked the typing for errors.

Turn the tap on and check for leaks.

check something against/with something (=compare something with something else to see whether they are the same)

You must check the evidence against other sources and decide if it is reliable.

Positive test results are double-checked (=looked at twice) to make absolutely sure.

2 . ASK SOMEBODY [intransitive and transitive] to ask someone whether something is correct, true, or allowed:

I’m not authorized to give you a refund – I’ll have to check first.

check (that)

Make a phone call to check that you’re writing to the right person.

check whether/how/who etc

Call the factory to check whether the beds can be delivered today.

check with

Check with your doctor before going on a diet.

3 . NOT DO SOMETHING [transitive] to suddenly stop yourself from saying or doing something because you realize it would be better not to:

I had to check the urge to laugh out loud.

check yourself

He grinned, and then checked himself, not wanting to upset Jack.

4 . STOP SOMETHING [transitive] to stop something bad from getting worse or continuing to happen:

The police are failing to take adequate measures to check the growth in crime.

5 . BAGS/CASES ETC [transitive] American English , check in British English to leave your bags at an official place so they can be put on a plane or a train, or to take someone’s bags in order to do this:

Any luggage over five kilos must be checked.

6 . MAKE A MARK [transitive] American English to make a mark (✓ ) next to an answer, something on a list etc to show you have chosen it, that it is correct, or that you have dealt with it SYN tick British English

7 . Check especially American English spoken say this when someone mentions each thing on a list, to tell them that you have it or have done it:

‘Passport?’ ‘Check.’ ‘Ticket?’ ‘Check’.

• • •


▪ check to look at something carefully and thoroughly in order to make sure that it is correct, safe, or working properly:

I’ll just check the water level in the battery.


The immigration officer checked their passports.


We need to check the building for structural damage.

▪ examine to look at something carefully and thoroughly because you want to find out something about it:

Experts who examined the painting believe it is genuine.


The police will examine the weapon for fingerprints.

▪ inspect to look at something carefully and thoroughly in order to make sure that it is correct, safe, or working properly, especially when it is your job to do this:

The building is regularly inspected by a fire-safety officer.


Some insurance people have already been here to inspect the damage caused by the storm.

▪ go through something to examine something such as a document or plan from beginning to end, especially in order to check that it is correct:

You should go through the contract before you sign.


I’ve finished my essay, but I just need to go through it to check for spelling mistakes.

▪ double-check to check something again so that you are completely sure it is correct, safe, or working properly:

I double-checked all my calculations and they seemed fine.


Travellers should double-check flight information before setting off today.

▪ test to examine or use something in order to find out whether it works or what its qualities are, or in order to check that it is satisfactory:

Test your brakes to check they are working correctly.


These products have not been tested on animals.

▪ monitor to carefully watch or keep checking someone or something in order to see what happens over a period of time:

Doctors monitored her progress during the night.


Observers have been monitoring the situation in Burma closely.

check in phrasal verb

1 . if you check in or are checked in at a hotel or airport, you go to the desk and report that you have arrived:

Check in two hours before the flight.

check in at

He checked in at the Europa Hotel.

check somebody ↔ in

Airline employees were checking in passengers.

⇨ ↑ check-in

2 . check something ↔ in to leave your bags at an official place so they can be put on a plane or a train, or to take someone’s bags in order to do this:

I said goodbye and went to check in my suitcases.

3 . American English to call someone to tell them that you are safe or where you are:

He just called to check in and tell them how he was doing.

check something ↔ off phrasal verb

to write a mark next to something on a list to show that you have chosen it, dealt with it, or made sure that it is correct:

One by one he checked them off on his register.

check on somebody/something phrasal verb

1 . to make sure that someone or something is safe, is in a satisfactory state, or is doing what they should be doing:

Honey, can you go upstairs and check on the kids?

My neighbour comes in once a week to check on things and feed the fish.

2 . to try to find out if something is true or correct:

He wanted to check on the girl’s story.

check out phrasal verb


a) check something ↔ out to make sure that something is actually true, correct, or acceptable SYN investigate :

I made a phone call to check out his address.

check something ↔ out with

Check it out with your boss before you do anything.

b) if information checks out, it is proved to be true, correct, or acceptable:

His credit record checks out.

2 . LOOK AT SOMEBODY/SOMETHING check somebody/something ↔ out to look at someone or something because they are interesting or attractive:

If I hear about a website that sounds interesting, I check it out.

Hey, check out that car!

3 . GET INFORMATION check somebody ↔ out informal to get information about someone, especially to find out if they are suitable for something:

I’ll check them out as potential employers.

4 . HOTEL to leave a hotel after paying the bill:

We checked out at noon.

⇨ ↑ checkout

5 . BOOKS check something ↔ out American English to borrow a book from a library:

The library allows you to check out six books at a time.

check something/somebody ↔ over phrasal verb

1 . to look closely at something to make sure it is correct or acceptable:

They spent the rest of the morning checking over their equipment.

2 . to examine someone to make sure they are healthy:

I’d like the doctor to check you over and do a few tests.

check up on somebody/something phrasal verb

1 . to try to find out if someone is doing what they said they would do or what you want them to do:

Don’t worry; no one is going to check up on you.

2 . to make sure that something is true or correct:

Dustin called me to check up on some facts.

II. check 2 S1 W3 BrE AmE noun

[ Sense 1-4, 6-10: Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: eschec 'check in chess' , from Arabic shah , from Persian , 'king' ]

[ Sense 5: Date: 1400-1500 ; Origin: checker 'chessboard, pattern of squares' (14-21 centuries) , from Old French eschequier , from eschec ]

1 . FINDING OUT [countable] the process of finding out if something is safe, correct, true, or in the condition it should be

check on

the need for tighter checks on arms sales

Conduct regular checks on your water quality.

run/carry out/make a check

I decided to run a check on all personnel.

I keep a careful check on my blood pressure.

have a check British English :

Have a check in your bag first and see if it’s there.

the airport’s routine security checks

random drug checks

health/medical/dental etc check (=a test done to make sure you are healthy)

spot check (=a quick check of one thing among a group of things, that you do without warning)

a spot check on the accounts

2 . keep/hold somebody/something in check keep someone or something under control:

You must learn to keep your emotions in check.

attempts to keep global warming in check

He made an effort to hold himself in check.

3 . A CONTROL ON SOMETHING [countable usually singular] something that controls something else and stops it from getting worse, continuing to happen etc

check on

Higher interest rates will act as a check on public spending.

4 . checks and balances a system that makes it possible for some people or parts of an organization to control the others, so that no particular person or part has too much power or influence

5 . PATTERN [uncountable and countable] a pattern of squares, especially on cloth:

a shirt with brown and black checks

check suit/jacket etc (=made with cloth patterned with checks)

a blue cotton check dress

⇨ ↑ checked

6 . FROM YOUR BANK [countable] the American spelling of ↑ cheque

check for

a check for $30

by check

Can I pay by check?

7 . IN A RESTAURANT [countable] American English a list that you are given in a restaurant showing what you have eaten and how much you must pay SYN bill British English

8 . coat check/hat check American English [countable]

a) a place in a restaurant, theatre etc where you can leave your coat, bag etc to be guarded

b) a ticket that you are given so you can claim your things from this place

9 . MARK [countable] American English a mark that you put next to an answer to show that it is correct or next to something on a list to show that you have dealt with it SYN tick British English

10 . CHESS [uncountable] the position of the ↑ king (=most important piece) in ↑ chess where it can be directly attacked by the opponent’s pieces

• • •


■ verbs

▪ do a check

I did a quick check of all the windows, locked the door and left.

▪ make a check (=do a check)

One of the nurses makes regular checks during the night.

▪ run a check (=especially on something that is strange or suspicious)

You should run a virus check before downloading from the Internet.

▪ carry out/conduct a check formal (=do or run a check)

The police carried out a check on the car’s registration number.

▪ have a check British English

Always have a final check to make sure you’ve got your ticket and passport.

▪ give something a check

I’d like you to give the car a careful check.

▪ keep a check on somebody/something (=check something regularly)

Keep a check on your baby’s temperature.

▪ go for a medical/dental etc check

She advised me to go for a medical check.


▪ a quick check

A quick check showed that someone had been in the room.

▪ a thorough/careful check

An engineer gave the computer a thorough check.

▪ a routine check (=happening as a normal part of a process)

I went to the doctor for a routine health check.

▪ a random check (=done without any definite pattern)

Customs officials were carrying out random checks on cars.

▪ a regular check

It’s vital to keep a regular check on your bank balance.

▪ a close check (=a careful one)

His teacher was keeping a close check on his progress.

▪ a safety/security check

The security checks at the airport can take a long time.

▪ a health/medical check

People over 60 should have regular medical checks.

▪ a background check (=to get information about someone’s previous work, education, family etc)

The company conducts background checks on security employees.

▪ a credit check (=to get information about someone’s financial history)

Banks usually do a credit check before they give you a loan.

▪ a spot check (=a quick check of one thing in a group done to obtain information)

They did a spot check on 160 vehicles to see how many passengers were wearing seat belts.

▪ a spell check (=a process in which a computer program tells you if you have spelt words wrong)

Have you done a spell check on your essay?

• • •


▪ bill a piece of paper that tells you how much you must pay:

Many families are struggling to pay their bills.


a credit card bill


We got a huge phone bill.


I asked the waiter to bring me the bill.

▪ check American English a bill that tells you how much you must pay in a restaurant:

Can I have the check, please?

▪ invoice a document that lists the goods that a company has sent, or the services they have provided, and tells you how much you must pay. It is often sent from one company to another company:

Payment is due ten days after receipt of the invoice.

▪ tab informal a bill that is added up at the end of a period of time, especially for food or drinks that you have had in a restaurant or hotel:

People staying in the hotel can order food or drinks to be put on their tab.

III. cheque S2 BrE AmE British English , check American English /tʃek/ noun [countable]

[ Date: 1700-1800 ; Origin: check , influenced by exchequer ]

a printed piece of paper that you write an amount of money on, sign, and use instead of money to pay for things

cheque for

They sent me a cheque for £100.

by cheque

Can I pay by cheque?

You could write her a cheque.

cash a cheque (=get cash in exchange for a cheque)

⇨ ↑ blank cheque , TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE

• • •


■ verbs

▪ pay by cheque

You can pay by cheque or credit card.

▪ write (out) a cheque

I had to write a cheque for £360 yesterday.

▪ give somebody a cheque

Can I give you a cheque, or would you prefer cash?

▪ make a cheque out/payable to somebody (=write someone's name on a cheque so it is paid to them)

Who shall I make the cheque out to?

▪ enclose a cheque (=send it with a letter by post)

I wrote to the company enclosing a cheque for £49.99.

▪ sign a cheque

You've forgotten to sign the cheque.

▪ pay in a cheque (=pay a cheque into your bank account)

I went to the bank to pay in a couple of cheques.

▪ cancel/stop a cheque (=stop a cheque from being paid to someone)

Don't forget to phone the bank and cancel that cheque.

▪ cash a cheque (=exchange a cheque for the amount of money it is worth)

The company had cashed the cheque but not sent the goods.

▪ accept a cheque (=take a cheque as a form of payment)

We only accept cheques if you have a bank card.

▪ draw a cheque formal (=use a cheque to withdraw money from an account)

Customers can draw cheques for any amount they like on their accounts.

▪ a cheque bounces (=is not paid by a bank because there is not enough money in the account)

The cheque bounced because my account was overdrawn.


▪ a large cheque (=for a lot of money)

Sara was delighted to receive a large cheque in the post.

▪ a blank cheque (=signed but without the amount written on it)

I wasn't sure how much the tickets would be so I gave her a blank cheque.

▪ a post-dated cheque (=with a date on it that is later than the date you write the cheque)

She wanted a post-dated cheque for the next three months' rent.

▪ a pay cheque (=one that you get for doing your job)

My pay cheque arrived at the end of each week.

▪ a traveller's cheque (=a type of cheque that you can exchange for money in another country)

Are you taking some traveller's cheques on holiday?

■ cheque + NOUN

▪ a cheque book (=a book of cheques that your bank gives you to use)

When you open a bank account you will be given your own cheque book.

▪ a cheque card (=a bank card shown when paying by cheque)

Cheques must be accompanied by a valid cheque card.

▪ a cheque stub (=the part of a cheque that stays in your cheque book when you have written a cheque)

Check your cheque stubs to see when you wrote the cheque.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.