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[chek-er] /ˈtʃɛk ər/
a small, usually red or black disk of plastic or wood, used in playing checkers.
  1. Also called, British, draughts. (used with a singular verb) a game played by two persons, each with 12 playing pieces, on a checkerboard.
  2. (in a regenerative furnace) loosely stacked brickwork through which furnace gases and incoming air are passed in turn, so that the heat of the exhaust is absorbed and later transferred to the incoming air.
a checkered pattern.
one of the squares of a checkered pattern.
verb (used with object)
to mark like a checkerboard.
to diversify in color; variegate.
to diversify in character; subject to alternations:
Sorrow and joy have checkered his life.
Also, British, chequer.
Origin of checker1
1250-1300; Middle English checker chessboard < Anglo-French escheker (by aphesis), equivalent to eschec check1 + -er -er2


[chek-er] /ˈtʃɛk ər/
a person or thing that checks.
a cashier, as in a supermarket or cafeteria.
a person who checks coats, baggage, etc.
First recorded in 1525-35; check1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for checker
Historical Examples
  • "That's the checker, my boy," said Yellow Pine, when he saw the fish.

    Two Arrows William O. Stoddard
  • Frankston, with a violent gesture, swept the checker board clean.

    Homesick Lyn Venable
  • The checker pigs had checker bibs on, the striped pigs had striped bibs on.

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • "That's the checker," she said, and disappeared with a click of the tongue.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
  • As he handed them to the checker, he looked casually around.

    The Penal Cluster Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)
  • It seemed, at first, little better than his old job as watchman and checker.

    The Shadow Arthur Stringer
  • Maybe she would like to read about checker debates or the like.

  • Beyond the blue mountains, the driver drew the car into the checker stand.

    Earth Alert! Kris Neville
  • The first hint of trouble was a call from a checker to the front office.

    Joy Ride Mark Meadows
  • In order to get the checker effect, the weave must now change.

    Practical Basketry Anna A. Gill
British Dictionary definitions for checker


noun, verb
the usual US spelling of chequer
(textiles) a variant spelling of chequer (sense 2)
(US & Canadian) any one of the 12 flat thick discs used by each player in the game of checkers Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) draughtsman


noun (mainly US & Canadian)
a cashier, esp in a supermarket
an attendant in a cloakroom, left-luggage office, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for checker

mid-13c., "game of chess (or checkers);" c.1300, "a chessboard, board with 64 squares for playing chess or similar games; a set of chessmen" a shortening of Old French eschequier "chessboard; a game of chess," from Medieval Latin scaccarium (see check (n.)).

Meaning "pattern of squares" is late 14c. Meaning "a man or marker in the game of checkers" is from 1864. British prefers chequer. From late 14c. as "a checked design." The word had earlier senses of "table covered with checked cloth for counting" (late 12c. in Anglo-Latin), a sense also in Old French (see checker (n.2)).


"to ornament with a checked or chackered design," late 14c. (implied in checkered), from Old French eschequeré and from checker (n.1). Related: Checkering.


"table covered with a checked cloth," specialized sense of checker (n.1), late 14c. (in Anglo-Latin from c.1300); especially a table for counting money or keeping accounts (revenue reckoned with counters); later extended to "the fiscal department of the English Crown; the Exchequer (mid-14c.; in Anglo-Latin from late 12c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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