Meaning of CHECK in English

I. ˈchek interjection

Etymology: Middle English chek, interjection & noun

— used to warn a chess opponent that his king is attacked

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English chek check at chess, attack, quarrel, reproof, from Old French eschec, eschac check at chess, repulse, from Arabic shāh check at chess, from Persian, literally, king; akin to Avestan xshayeti he rules, has power, Sanskrit kṣavati he possesses, rules, Greek ktasthai to acquire

1. : exposure of a chess king to an opponent's piece in such a way that if it were not the king and not immediately protected (as by interposing another piece) it could be captured on the next move

with his king in check

relieving the check

— see discovered check


a. : a sudden stoppage of a forward course or progress : a condition of impeded progress : arrest , repulse , stop

the outbreak of war in 1939 gave a sudden check to the sculptor's work — Herbert Read

b. obsolete : a fine imposed on servants of the royal household for neglect of duty

c. 2 stop 9

d. of a hunting dog : a temporary loss of scent while in pursuit of quarry

e. : a legal or illegal checking of an opposing player or play in ice hockey — see back-check , board check , body check , cross-check , hook check , poke check , sweep check

3. : the interruption by a hawk of its pursuit of the proper quarry in order to pursue inferior game ; also : the inferior game it pursues

4. : a typically sudden and sharp pause in a course : a break in a progression

the invaders coming in without a check

5. archaic : reprimand , rebuke

6. an agency, force, condition, or provision likely to arrest progress, limit action, restrain power, or curb excess : restraint

a small minority of men of high character who acted as a check upon this irresponsible majority — Warren Grice

I must put a check on these roving fancies of mine — T.B.Costain

a. : a person who acts to restrain or counter another

using one earl as a check on the other

b. : a provision conferring power on a governmental branch or agency to restrain others

the checks and balances of republican governments — John Adams


[by shortening]

: checkrein

d. : a mechanical device for curbing, braking, or otherwise limiting action

a door check preventing slamming

e. : a rope for checking the motion of a ship

f. : damper 1a

g. : a device in a fishing reel to control the running out of the line

h. : the act of checking in poker


a. : supervision insuring accuracy, fitness, or due performance : control

under the check of the superintendent

b. a standard for testing and evaluation : criterion

any arbitrary formula too rigidly adhered to may endanger good writing, but a good set of principles used as a check and an aid may be very useful — F.L.Mott

c. : an examination, test, or other device for determining progress, condition, value, or accuracy ; sometimes : a test performed by quick sampling

a check on a student's progress

d. : inspection , investigation

a loyalty check on government employees

e. : a ready source of information used in investigating or verifying

graphs serving as a check on our standing

f. : act of testing or verifying

making a check on the data

also : the material, sample, or unit used for such testing or verifying


a. : an area of land enclosed by embankments that confine irrigation water admitted by flooding

b. : a gate for controlling water flow in an irrigation ditch

9. dialect : a light meal : snack


[so called from the use of the counterfoil to check forgery]

a. obsolete : the counterfoil of a bank draft ; also : a draft form with a counterfoil

b. : a written order directing a bank or banker to pay money as therein stated : a draft drawn on a bank or banker payable on demand


a. : a card or small metal piece showing ownership, indicating payment of a charge or fee, identifying a person, or enabling him to make certain demands or claims : ticket , certificate

a baggage check

a hat check

a baseball rain check

b. : a token used in trade as a piece of money or as evidence of credit

an army post exchange check

a check good for a bottle of beer

c. : a counter in various games (as card games) that is often cashed or otherwise turned in on leaving a game : chip

the piles of checks before the roulette players

d. : a tab or slip indicating an amount due : bill

our waitress finally brought the check

e. : checkroom

there's a hat check in the hotel lobby


[Middle English chek, short for cheker checker (chessboard)]

a. : a pattern in squares : a design that resembles a checkerboard

b. : a fabric woven or printed with such a design

c. : a square in such a design

d. : a square made by vertical and horizontal lines to facilitate planned planting

planting the trees in checks

13. : a mark typically ✓ placed beside an item to show its having been noted, examined, or verified


a. : crack , chink , break :

(1) : a lengthwise separation in wood that usually extends across the annual growth rings and commonly results from stresses set up during seasoning — compare shake

(2) : an almost imperceptible crack in steel caused by uneven quenching in hardening

(3) : a short shallow crack in a paint, varnish, or lacquer film occurring as a result of age and disintegration of film

b. plural checks also chex -ks : a poultry egg with a minuscule break in the shell due to improper sealing but with unbroken membrane — contrasted with crack (sense 13)

15. : a rabbet-shaped cutting : rabbet , rebate

- in check

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English cheken, from Middle French eschequier to play chess, put in check, defeat, from eschecs chess or eschec check

transitive verb

1. : to place (a chess king) in check — see checkmate

2. : checkrow

3. now chiefly dialect : rebuke , reprimand


a. archaic : to penalize, fine, or mulct by withholding wages

check a deliquent servant

b. : garnishee , mulct

check a delinquent's salary


a. : to bring to a sudden stop and halt the course, progress, or action of often abruptly, forcefully, and certainly

the army of the Huns under Attila had been checked and turned back at Châlons — Tom Wintringham

he … went on pacing … but suddenly he checked himself, stood still for a moment — Joseph Conrad

b. : to block the progress of (an opposing hockey player or a hockey play) by a check


a. : to restrain or abate the course, action, or force of : cause to act more slowly with less force or effect : have the power or ability to restrain or control

the Parliament Act of 1911, which made our House of Lords less able to thwart or check the purposes of the House of Commons — Ernest Barker

b. : to slack or ease off and then belay again (as a purchase or rope) : stopper

check a cable when it's running out


a. obsolete : drive

check thy fiery steeds — Shakespeare

b. : to hold in restraint : control : act as a check, curb, or counter to

check for a time the inward sweeping waves of melancholy — Louis Bromfield


a. : to compare with source of information (as an original, another version, a record, or body of data) : verify

we checked our information by looking up meterological records — V.G.Heiser

numerous scholars do not check quotations, references, or bibliographies — E.S.McCartney

— often used with with or against

b. : to inspect and ascertain the condition of especially in order to determine that the condition is satisfactory : find out about : investigate and ensure accuracy, authenticity, reliability, safety, or satisfactory performance of

the applicant must be checked, much as a bank checks the credit rating of a would-be borrower — Craig Thompson

incoming fishing boats were checked for radiation — Time

I checked the ship out, testing the engine at full power — B.T.Guyton

c. : to note or mark often with a check as examined, verified, present, satisfactory, finished, or in order

check an inventory list

— often used with off

check off the names of men reporting


a. : to consign for shipment typically as a service extended to the holder of a passenger ticket

check the trunk at the station

b. : to ship or accept for shipment under such a consignment arrangement

the agent checked our baggage through



[Middle English cheken, from chek (square)]

: to mark into squares : mark with a pattern of crossing lines : checker

check the cloth

b. : to mark (ground) to facilitate planting in squares

check the field with a marker


[ check (II) (token)]

a. : to leave in safekeeping typically with receipt of a check or token indicating ownership

check your hat and coat at the theater

b. : to accept for safekeeping under such an arrangement

working in a nightclub checking hats


[check (II) (crack)]

: to make checks or chinks in : cause to crack

the sun checks timber


[ check (II) (draft)]

: to use checks to withdraw or pay over (money held in a bank) — usually used with out

check out over a thousand dollars

intransitive verb

1. obsolete : to come into jarring conflict : clash

heat checking against cold

2. falconry : to turn when in pursuit of proper game and fly after inferior game — used with at

3. obsolete : to take offense : become offended


a. of a dog : to stop in a chase especially when scent is lost

b. : to halt suddenly : pause in one's procedure often through caution, uncertainty, or fear : stop

she checked for a moment in the dance and missed a step — Monica Ewer

the train checked with a jolt — B.A.Williams

5. : to prevent or hinder (as by a pad, cup, or ring) the escape of gas in a gun


a. : to investigate and make sure about conditions or circumstances : obtain confirmation or substantiation

checking on her passengers' safety belts — E.K.Gann

he checked to be sure the Savo's deck was ready — J.A.Michener

b. : to correspond often detail for detail : agree , concur , tally

the description checks with the photograph

7. : to draw a check (as upon a bank or banker)

8. poker

a. : to bet one chip of lowest value in games in which one must bet or drop in each turn

b. : to announce one's intention of postponing his right to bet with privilege of betting later in games in which this is permitted

9. : crack , split :

a. : to crack open (as of wood in drying or as biscuits in cooling)

b. : to develop small cracks (as of varnish or eggs)


a. : to check off or tally items in a list or group especially of prices

b. : to place a check beside items in tallying, listing, or otherwise accounting for them

Synonyms: see arrest , restrain

- check into

- check on

IV. adjective

Etymology: in sense 1, from check (II) (square); in sense 2 & 3, from 2 &3 check

1. : marked with checks : showing a check pattern : checked , checkered

2. : serving to check, stop, baffle, or regulate

a check valve

3. : serving as a control : affording a likely means of verifying, correcting, codifying, or measuring

check areas in soils research projects

V. interjection

Etymology: check (II) (mark)

— used to express assent or agreement

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.