Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An action or influence that stops motion or expression; a restraint: Heavy rains were a check on the army's advance.
  • n. The condition of being stopped or held back; restraint: kept my temper in check; holding agricultural pests in check with sprays.
  • n. An abrupt stop in forward movement or progress; a halt.
  • n. The act or an instance of inspecting or testing, as for accuracy or quality; examination: the careful check of each unit before sale; gave the car an oil check.
  • n. A standard for inspecting or evaluating; a test.
  • n. A check mark.
  • n. A ticket or slip of identification: a baggage check.
  • n. A bill at a restaurant or bar.
  • n. Games A chip or counter used in gambling.
  • n. A written order to a bank to pay the amount specified from funds on deposit; a draft.
  • n. A small crack; a chink.
  • n. A pattern of small squares, as on a chessboard.
  • n. One of the squares of such a pattern.
  • n. A fabric patterned with squares: a dress of pale green check.
  • n. Games A move in chess that directly attacks an opponent's king but does not constitute a checkmate.
  • n. Games The position or condition of a king so attacked.
  • n. Sports The act of blocking or impeding an opponent in possession of the puck in ice hockey, either with one's body or one's stick.
  • interj. Games Used to declare that a chess opponent's king is in check.
  • interj. Informal Used to express agreement or understanding.
  • transitive v. To arrest the motion of abruptly; halt: checked the flow by shutting a valve.
  • transitive v. To hold in restraint; curb: check an impulse to laugh. See Synonyms at restrain.
  • transitive v. To slow the growth of; retard.
  • transitive v. To rebuke; rebuff.
  • transitive v. To inspect so as to determine accuracy, quality, or other condition; test: checked the brakes and lights for defects; checked out the system to make sure there were no errors in the software.
  • transitive v. To verify by consulting a source or authority: checked her facts before speaking; check a spelling in the dictionary.
  • transitive v. To put a check mark on or next to: checked off each item on the shopping list.
  • transitive v. To deposit for temporary safekeeping: checked his coat at the door.
  • transitive v. To consign (luggage, for example) for shipment on a transportation vehicle: checked her bags and boarded the plane.
  • transitive v. To make cracks or chinks in: Sunlight dried and checked the paint.
  • transitive v. Games To move in chess so as to put (an opponent's king) under direct attack.
  • transitive v. Sports To block or impede (an opposing player in possession of the puck) in ice hockey by using one's body or one's stick.
  • intransitive v. To come to an abrupt halt; stop.
  • intransitive v. To agree point for point; correspond: The fingerprints checked with the ones on file.
  • intransitive v. To be verified or confirmed; pass inspection: The suspect's story checked out.
  • intransitive v. To make an examination or investigation; inquire: phoned to check on the departure time; checked into the rumor.
  • intransitive v. To write a check on a bank account.
  • intransitive v. To undergo cracking in a pattern of checks, as paint does.
  • intransitive v. Games To place a chess opponent's king in check.
  • intransitive v. To pause to relocate a scent. Used of hunting dogs.
  • intransitive v. To abandon the proper game and follow baser prey. Used of trained falcons.
  • intransitive v. Sports To block or impede an opposing player in possession of the puck in ice hockey.
  • check in To register, as at a hotel.
  • check out To settle one's bill and leave a hotel or other place of lodging.
  • check out To withdraw (an item) after recording the withdrawal: check out books.
  • check out To record and total up the prices of and receive payment for (items being purchased) at a retail store: The cashier checked out and bagged my order.
  • check out Slang To die.
  • check over To look over; examine: The teacher checked the students' papers over.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An inspection or examination.
  • n. A control; a limit or stop.
  • n. A mark (especially a checkmark: ✓) used as an indicator, equivalent to a tick (UK).
  • n. An order to a bank to pay money to a named person or entity; a cheque (UK, Canada).
  • n. A bill, particularly in a restaurant.
  • n. The situation in which the king is directly threatened by an opposing piece.
  • n. A maneuver performed by a player to take another player out of the play.
  • n. A token used instead of cash in gaming machines.
  • n. A lengthwise separation through the growth rings in wood.
  • v. To inspect; to examine.
  • v. To mark with a checkmark.
  • v. To control, limit, or halt.
  • v. To verify or compare with a source of information.
  • v. To leave in safekeeping.
  • v. To leave with a shipping agent for shipping.
  • v. To physically remove a person from play.
  • v. To remain in a hand without betting. Only legal if no one has yet bet.
  • n. A pattern made up of a grid of squares of alternating colors; a checkered pattern.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Checkered; designed in checks.
  • n. A word of warning denoting that the king is in danger; such a menace of a player's king by an adversary's move as would, if it were any other piece, expose it to immediate capture. A king so menaced is said to be in check, and must be made safe at the next move.
  • n. A condition of interrupted or impeded progress; arrest; stop; delay.
  • n. Whatever arrests progress, or limits action; an obstacle, guard, restraint, or rebuff.
  • n. A mark, certificate, or token, by which, errors may be prevented, or a thing or person may be identified.
  • n. A written order directing a bank or banker to pay money as therein stated. See Bank check, below.
  • n. A woven or painted design in squares resembling the patten of a checkerboard; one of the squares of such a design; also, cloth having such a figure.
  • n. The forsaking by a hawk of its proper game to follow other birds.
  • n. Small chick or crack.
  • intransitive v. To make a stop; to pause; -- with at.
  • intransitive v. To clash or interfere.
  • intransitive v. To act as a curb or restraint.
  • intransitive v. To crack or gape open, as wood in drying; or to crack in small checks, as varnish, paint, etc.
  • intransitive v. To turn, when in pursuit of proper game, and fly after other birds.
  • transitive v. To make a move which puts an adversary's piece, esp. his king, in check; to put in check.
  • transitive v. To put a sudden restraint upon; to stop temporarily; to hinder; to repress; to curb.
  • transitive v. To verify, to guard, to make secure, by means of a mark, token, or other check; to distinguish by a check; to put a mark against (an item) after comparing with an original or a counterpart in order to secure accuracy.
  • transitive v. To chide, rebuke, or reprove.
  • transitive v. To slack or ease off, as a brace which is too stiffly extended.
  • transitive v. To make checks or chinks in; to cause to crack.
  • transitive v. To leave (something) in the temporary custody of another.
  • transitive v. To accept (something) for temporary custody from another.
  • transitive v. To make a checkered pattern upon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In chess, an exposure of the king to a direct attack from an opposing piece, as a result either of a move made by this piece or of the removal of a piece that interposed.
  • n. A hostile movement; an attack; hence, disaster.
  • n. A reprimand; rebuke; censure; slight.
  • n. The act or means of checking or restraining; a stop; hindrance; restraint; obstruction.
  • n. A means of detecting or exposing error; an obstruction to the effect or acceptance of anything erroneous: as, one author serves as a check upon another in seeking the truth; a check upon the accuracy of a computation or an experiment.
  • n. In falconry, the act of a hawk when she forsakes her proper game to follow rooks, magpies, or other birds that cross her in her flight: as, the hawk made a check, or flew at or on check.
  • n. Hence Base game, such as rooks, small birds, etc.
  • n. A pattern of squares of alternating colors.
  • n. Hence A fabric having such a pattern.
  • n. A mark put against names or items on going over a list, to indicate that they have been verified, compared, or otherwise examined.
  • n. Any counter-register used as a security, as the correspondent cipher of a bank-note, a corresponding indenture, etc.; a counterfoil.
  • n. A token, usually in the form of a written or printed slip of paper or a stamped piece of metal, given as a means of identification, as to a railroad-passenger to identify his baggage, or (by a conductor) as a substitute for his ticket, or to a person leaving a theater with the intention of returning, as a means of showing his right to admission on his return and of identifying his seat.
  • n. A written order for money drawn on a bank or private banker or bank-cashier, payable to a person named, or to his order, or to bearer. In legal effect it is a bill of exchange. [In England commonly spelled cheque.]’
  • n. A roll or book containing the names of persons who are attendants and in the pay of a king or great personage, as domestic servants. Also called check-roll, checker-roll.
  • n. Same as check-rein.
  • n. A pad on the back part of a pianofortekey, which catches the head of the hammer as it falls and prevents it from rebounding.
  • n. In mining, a slight fault or dislocation of the strata. See fault.
  • n. An alphabetic sound produced with complete stoppage of the current of breath; a mute.
  • Ornamented with a checkered pattern; checkered: as, a check shirt.
  • In chess, to place (one's adversary's King) in danger by a direct attack from any piece. See check, n.
  • To stop suddenly or forcibly; curb; restrain.
  • Nautical: To ease off (a little of a rope which is too tightly strained). To stop or regulate the motion of, as a cable when it is running out too violently.
  • To restrain by rebuke; chide or reprove.
  • To mark in checks or small squares.
  • To compare with a counterfoil or something similar, with a view to ascertain authenticity or accuracy; control by a counter-register; test the accuracy of by comparison with vouchers or a duplicate: as, to check an account.
  • To note with a mark as having been examined, or for some other purpose; mark off from a list after examination or verification: as, to check the items of a bill; to check the names on a voting-list.
  • To attach a check to, for the purpose of identification: as, to check baggage.
  • To make a stop; stop; pause: generally with at.
  • To clash or interfere.
  • To exercise a check.
  • In falconry, to forsake the prey and follow small birds, as a hawk: with at.
  • To split, crack, or seam in seasoning or drying, or by becoming too dry, as timber, painted or varnished surfaces, and the like.
  • To fit or fasten together (two pieces) in such a manner that they can be separated only by a motion perpendicular to the plane of the joint.
  • To crack or split without falling apart.
  • In hunting, to stop (as dogs do) because of loss of the scent.
  • To draw a check.
  • n. Same as check, 2 .
  • n. Same as chack.
  • n. A longitudinal crack in timber due to too rapid seasoning. Also called season-check. See check, intransitive verb, 5.
  • n. In irrigation, a small levee or dike for holding the water on irrigated fields.
  • n. In experimentation, a part of the material of the experiment left untreated for the sake of comparison. Thus in fertilizer-tests one or more plats are left without fertilizer in order to know what results are due to fertilization in the others.
  • n. Same as checkers; 11.
  • n. A joint having two parts which fit one into the other and so form a guide.
  • n. In card-playing and banking games, a counter sold by the banker which can be redeemed at any time.
  • n. In hunting, a stoppage of the hounds owing to temporary loss of the scent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. mark into squares or draw squares on; draw crossed lines on
  • v. make an examination or investigation
  • v. write out a check on a bank account
  • n. the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
  • v. stop for a moment, as if out of uncertainty or caution
  • v. stop in a chase especially when scent is lost
  • n. additional proof that something that was believed (some fact or hypothesis or theory) is correct
  • v. consign for shipment on a vehicle
  • n. (chess) a direct attack on an opponent's king
  • v. hand over something to somebody as for temporary safekeeping
  • n. the act of inspecting or verifying
  • v. be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
  • v. find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort
  • v. become fractured; break or crack on the surface only
  • v. be verified or confirmed; pass inspection
  • v. be compatible, similar or consistent; coincide in their characteristics
  • v. develop (children's) behavior by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control
  • v. decline to initiate betting
  • v. arrest the motion (of something) abruptly
  • v. slow the growth or development of
  • v. examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition
  • v. verify by consulting a source or authority
  • v. place into check
  • n. a mark left after a small piece has been chopped or broken off of something
  • n. an appraisal of the state of affairs
  • n. a textile pattern of squares or crossed lines (resembling a checkerboard)
  • n. something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
  • v. put a check mark on or near or next to
  • v. block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
  • n. the state of inactivity following an interruption
  • n. obstructing an opponent in ice hockey
  • v. lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
  • v. make cracks or chinks in
  • v. hold back, as of a danger or an enemy; check the expansion or influence of
  • n. a mark indicating that something has been noted or completed etc.
  • v. abandon the intended prey, turn, and pursue an inferior prey
  • n. a written order directing a bank to pay money
  • n. the bill in a restaurant

Etymologies

Middle English chek, check in chess, from Old French eschec, from Arabic shāh, from Persian, king, check; see shah.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French eschec, from Medieval Latin scacus, from Arabic صکّ (ṣakk), from Persian چک (chak, "letter of credit"), from شاه (šāh, "king"). (Wiktionary)
By shortening from checker, from Old French eschequier ("chessboard"), from Medieval Latin scaccarium, ultimately from the same Persian root as above. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Also chack, an Orkney name for the wheatear.

    May 10, 2011

  • "Anyone who believes that an administration incapable of getting itself out of its own disasters from Kabul to Baghdad to New Orleans finally has a formula for doing so at a moment of ultimate economic debacle is surely deluded. In the meantime, Congress may turn over the checks (as in checkbooks) from those classic American governmental checks and balances to the Treasury."
    - Tom Engelhardt, 25 Sep 2008.

    September 26, 2008