View synonyms for check



[ chek ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to stop or arrest the motion of suddenly or forcibly:

    He checked the horse at the edge of the cliff.

    Antonyms: advance

  2. to restrain; hold in restraint or control:

    They built a high wall to check the tides.

    Synonyms: detain, stem, clog, bottleneck, balk, baffle, hobble, bridle, block, obstruct, hamper, hinder, impede

  3. to cause a reduction, such as in rate or intensity; diminish:

    The new measures checked the rapidity with which the epidemic was spreading.

  4. to investigate or verify as to correctness:

    She checked the copy against the original.

  5. to make an inquiry into, search through, etc.:

    We checked the files, but the letter was missing.

  6. to inspect or test the performance, condition, safety, etc., of (something):

    Check a used car thoroughly before buying it.

    Synonyms: examine

  7. to mark (something) so as to indicate examination, correctness, preference, etc. (often followed by off ):

    Please check the correct answer. They checked off the names of people they wanted to invite.

  8. to leave in temporary custody:

    Check your umbrellas at the door.

  9. to accept for temporary custody:

    We accept responsibility for any article we check here.

  10. 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.

  11. to accept (baggage) for conveyance, and to convey, under the privilege of a passenger's ticket:

    Check this trunk to Portland.

  12. to mark with or in a pattern of squares:

    to check fabric.

  13. Agriculture. to plant in checkrows.
  14. Chess. to place (an opponent's king) under direct attack.
  15. Ice Hockey. to obstruct or impede the movement or progress of (an opponent). Compare back-check, fore-check.
  16. Baseball. (of a batter) to hold back on (a swing of the bat) just after the swing has been started: checked swing ( def ).

    The umpire is saying Cruz did check his swing, so that’ll be ball three.

  17. Baseball. (of a pitcher) to turn and look at (a base runner) to inhibit the runner from leading:

    Lopez checks the runner on second, looks back at Hamilton, and fires another sidearm pitch.

verb (used without object)

  1. to prove to be right; correspond accurately:

    The reprint checks with the original, item for item.

    Synonyms: agree

  2. to make an inquiry, investigation, etc., such as for verification (often followed by up, into, etc.):

    He checked to make sure his answer was correct. Check into the matter.

  3. to make a sudden stop; pause:

    The horse checked before he jumped.

  4. Chess. to make a move that puts the opponent's king under direct attack.
  5. Baseball. (of a batter) to hold back on a swing of the bat just after the swing has been started: checked swing ( def ).

    From our perspective, it’s hard to tell whether he checked or not.

  6. to crack or split, usually in small checks:

    Painted surfaces may check with age.

  7. 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.
  8. Hunting. (of hounds) to stop, especially because the line of scent has been lost.
  9. Falconry. (of a hawk) to forsake the proper prey and follow baser game (followed by at ).


, plural checks chex.
  1. Also British, cheque. Banking. a written order, usually on a standard printed form, directing a bank to pay money.
  2. a slip or ticket showing the amount owed, especially a bill for food or beverages consumed.

    Synonyms: counterfoil, receipt, tab

  3. 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.

    Synonyms: stub, coupon

  4. 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.

  5. an inquiry, search, or examination:

    We made a quick check but found nothing missing.

  6. Also called check mark. a mark, often indicated by (✓), as on a list, to indicate that something has been considered, acted upon, or approved.
  7. 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.

    Synonyms: rein, bridle, curb, barrier, bar, deterrent, impediment, restraint, restriction, hindrance, obstruction, obstacle

  8. a sudden arrest or stoppage:

    Taxation caused a check in the accumulation of vast fortunes.

  9. a control, test, or inspection that ascertains performance or prevents error:

    They ran a check on the dependability of the automobile.

  10. a pattern formed of squares, as on a checkerboard.
  11. one of the squares in such a pattern.
  12. a fabric having a check pattern.
  13. Chess. the exposure of the king to direct attack:

    The king was in check.

  14. Ice Hockey. any of several maneuvers designed to obstruct or impede the forward progress of an opponent. Compare board check, body check, cross-check ( def 5 ), hook check, poke check, sweep check.
  15. a counter used in card games, as the chip in poker.
  16. a small crack:

    There were several checks in the paint.

  17. an egg, designated for market, having a slightly cracked shell and an intact inner membrane.
  18. Masonry. a rabbet-shaped cutting on the edge of a stone, by which it is fitted to another stone.
  19. Hunting.
    1. the losing of the scent by a dog or pack.
    2. (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.


  1. serving to check, control, verify, etc.:

    a check system.

  2. ornamented with a pattern of squares; checkered:

    a check border.


  1. Chess. (used as a call to warn one's opponent that their king is exposed to direct attack, having just one move in which to escape or parry.)
  2. Informal. all right! agreed!

verb phrase

  1. 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.

    1. to vacate and pay for one's quarters at a hotel.
    2. to verify or become verified; examine or investigate.
    3. to fulfill requirements, as by passing a test:

      The engine checked out and we proceeded on our way.

    4. to itemize, total the cost of, and collect payment for (a purchase):

      The supermarket cashier was exhausted from checking out groceries all day long.

    5. to have the cost added up and pay for merchandise.
    6. to borrow (an item) by having it listed as one's temporary responsibility:

      The adding machine was checked out in your name.

    7. Informal. to depart quickly or abruptly; leave in a hurry.
    8. Slang. to die.
  2. to examine or investigate, especially thoroughly.
  3. to investigate, scrutinize, or inspect:

    Don't forget to check on his work. We have to check up on him.



[ chek ]


, South Midland and Southern U.S.
  1. Often checks. the game of checkers.
  2. any of the playing pieces used in this game.


/ tʃɛk /


  1. to pause or cause to pause, esp abruptly
  2. tr to restrain or control

    to check one's tears

  3. tr to slow the growth or progress of; retard
  4. tr to rebuke or rebuff
  5. whenintr, often foll by on or up on to examine, investigate, or make an inquiry into (facts, a product, etc) for accuracy, quality, or progress, esp rapidly or informally
  6. tr to mark off so as to indicate approval, correctness, or preference Usual Brit wordtick
  7. introften foll bywith to correspond or agree

    this report checks with the other

  8. tr to leave in or accept (clothing or property) for temporary custody
  9. chess to place (an opponent's king) in check
  10. tr to mark with a pattern of squares or crossed lines
  11. to crack or cause to crack
  12. agriculture short for checkrow
  13. tr ice hockey to impede (an opponent)
  14. intr hunting (of hounds) to pause in the pursuit of quarry while relocating a lost scent
  15. intrfoll byat falconry to change from one quarry to another while in flight
  16. intr to decline the option of opening the betting in a round of poker
  17. check the helm
    nautical to swing back the helm of a vessel to prevent it from turning too quickly or too far


  1. a break in progress; stoppage
  2. a restraint or rebuff
    1. a person or thing that restrains, halts, etc
    2. ( as modifier )

      a check line

    1. a control, esp a rapid or informal one, designed to ensure accuracy, progress, etc
    2. ( as modifier )

      a check list

  3. a means or standard to ensure against fraud or error
  4. the US word for tick 1
  5. the US spelling of cheque
  6. the bill in a restaurant
  7. a ticket or tag used to identify clothing or property deposited for custody
  8. a pattern of squares or crossed lines
  9. a single square in such a pattern
    1. fabric with a pattern of squares or crossed lines
    2. ( as modifier )

      a check suit

  10. chess the state or position of a king under direct attack, from which it must be moved or protected by another piece
  11. a small crack, as one in veneer or one that occurs in timber during seasoning
  12. part of the action of a piano that arrests the backward motion of a hammer after it has struck a string and holds it until the key is released
  13. a chip or counter used in some card and gambling games
  14. hunting a pause by the hounds in the pursuit of their quarry owing to loss of its scent
  15. angling a ratchet fitted to a fishing reel to check the free running of the line
  16. ice hockey the act of impeding an opponent with one's body or stick
  17. in check
    under control or restraint


  1. chess a call made to an opponent indicating that his king is in check
  2. an expression of agreement

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Derived Forms

  • ˈcheckable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • check·less adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of check1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English chek, chekke (in the game of chess), from Old French eschec (by loss of the initial unstressed vowel), variant of eschac, from Arabic shāh “check” (in the game of chess), from Persian: literally, “king” (an exclamation: i.e., “look out, your king is threatened”); shah

Origin of check2

By shortening

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Word History and Origins

Origin of check1

C14: from Old French eschec a check at chess, hence, a pause (to verify something), via Arabic from Persian shāh the king! (in chess)

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. check the helm, Nautical. to alter the helm of a turning vessel to keep the bow from swinging too far or too rapidly.
  2. in check, under restraint:

    He held his anger in check.

More idioms and phrases containing check

  • blank check
  • claim check
  • in check
  • pick up (the check)
  • rain check
  • reality check
  • rubber check

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Synonym Study

See stop. 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.

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Example Sentences

Same coaches and same teammates, but practices were off campus and often took at least some precautions, like distancing and temperature checks.

It will be writing checks ranging between roughly half a million and $3 million dollars, and it is only planning to raise $40 million — so the checks will be selective.

To do so, check your local government website for OHV laws and regulations or head over to the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, which has tons of resources like basic off-road driver courses and tips for minimizing your impact.

Votes aren’t just little sheets of paper with boxes you check with a crayon.

Ballot designs and rules vary by state, but check that you’ve signed everywhere and sealed all the envelopes as instructed.

In this cockamamie get-rich scheme, would they all issue an apology if he cut a check?

We try to avoid going away for too long, so we can check back in.

She came to sound check, that was the first time we ever performed it, and it was really cool.

To judge her acting abilities for yourself, check out her videos on YouTube for “Sex Shooter.”

While the desk sergeant ran a background check, he was roughed up by another officer in the lock-up.

"Very well," said the other, handing him a check for twenty-five dollars as a retainer, and straightway left the office.

The new Government to preserve public order and check all reprisals against the Spaniards.

But in the organization in which we live over-production tends to check itself at once.

Am I to check the number of rounds in the limbers; on the beaches and in transit during a battle?

Scarcely were they bandaged when the news arrived that Augereau's division had received a severe check.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.