having a pattern of squares; checkered(def 3): a checked shirt.
Phonetics. (of a vowel) situated in a closed syllable (opposed to freedef 28).

Nearby words

  1. check-over,
  2. checkable,
  3. checkback,
  4. checkbook,
  5. checkbook journalism,
  6. checked swing,
  7. checkedy,
  8. checker,
  9. checkerberry,
  10. checkerbloom

Origin of checked

1375–1425; late Middle English. See check1, -ed2

Related formsun·checked, adjectivewell-checked, adjective



verb (used with object)

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 followed 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.
Agriculture. 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).Compare back-check, fore-check.

verb (used without object)

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

noun, plural checks or for 40, chex.

Also British, 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, especially 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.Compare 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.
  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.


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!

Verb Phrases

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/up on, to investigate, scrutinize, or inspect: Don't forget to check on his work. We have to check up on him.
check out,
  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. depart quickly or abruptly; leave in a hurry.
  8. die.
check over, to examine or investigate, especially thoroughly.

Origin of check

1275–1325; Middle English chek, chekke (at chess) < Old French eschec (by aphesis), variant of eschac < Arabic shāh check (at chess) < Persian: literally, king (an exclamation: i.e., look out, your king is threatened); see shah

Related formscheck·less, adjective

Synonym study

1. See stop. 2. 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for checked

British Dictionary definitions for checked



having a pattern of small squares
phonetics (of a syllable) ending in a consonant



to pause or cause to pause, esp abruptly
(tr) to restrain or controlto check one's tears
(tr) to slow the growth or progress of; retard
(tr) to rebuke or rebuff
(when intr, 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
(tr) mainly US and Canadian to mark off so as to indicate approval, correctness, or preferenceUsual Brit word: tick
(intr often foll by with) mainly US and Canadian to correspond or agreethis report checks with the other
(tr) mainly US, Canadian and NZ to leave in or accept (clothing or property) for temporary custody
chess to place (an opponent's king) in check
(tr) to mark with a pattern of squares or crossed lines
to crack or cause to crack
agriculture short for checkrow
(tr) ice hockey to impede (an opponent)
(intr) hunting (of hounds) to pause in the pursuit of quarry while relocating a lost scent
(intr foll by at) falconry to change from one quarry to another while in flight
(intr) to decline the option of opening the betting in a round of poker
check the helm nautical to swing back the helm of a vessel to prevent it from turning too quickly or too far


a break in progress; stoppage
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
a means or standard to ensure against fraud or error
the US word for tick 1
the US spelling of cheque
mainly US the bill in a restaurant
mainly US and Canadian a ticket or tag used to identify clothing or property deposited for custody
a pattern of squares or crossed lines
a single square in such a pattern
  1. fabric with a pattern of squares or crossed lines
  2. (as modifier)a check suit
chess the state or position of a king under direct attack, from which it must be moved or protected by another piece
a small crack, as one in veneer or one that occurs in timber during seasoning
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
a chip or counter used in some card and gambling games
hunting a pause by the hounds in the pursuit of their quarry owing to loss of its scent
angling a ratchet fitted to a fishing reel to check the free running of the line
ice hockey the act of impeding an opponent with one's body or stick
in check under control or restraint


chess a call made to an opponent indicating that his king is in check
mainly US and Canadian an expression of agreement

Derived Formscheckable, adjective

Word Origin for check

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

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

Word Origin and History for checked
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with checked


In addition to the idioms beginning with check

  • check in
  • check into
  • check off
  • check on
  • check out
  • check over
  • checks and balances
  • check up

also see:

  • blank check
  • claim check
  • in check
  • pick up (the check)
  • rain check
  • reality check
  • rubber check
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.