Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “check”

See all translations

check

verb uk   /tʃek/ us  

check verb (EXAMINE)

A2 [I or T] to make certain that something or someone is correct, safe, or suitable by examining it, him, or her quickly: You should always check your oil, water, and tyres before taking your car on a long trip. Customs stopped us and checked (= searched) our bags for alcohol and cigarettes. After I'd finished the exam, I checked my answers for mistakes. The doctor will call next week to check on your progress. My wife checks on (= visits) our elderly neighbour every few days to make sure that he's alright. [+ (that)] I always check (that) I've shut the windows before I leave the house. He double-checked all the doors (= checked them all twice) before leaving the house.
See also
B1 [I or T] to find out about something: [+ question word] I called them yesterday to check when they were arriving. [+ to infinitive] If you're near the garage, could you check to see (= ask) if the car's ready? If you're unsure of your legal rights, I would check with (= ask) a lawyer.
More examples

check verb (STOP)

[T] to stop someone from doing or saying something, or to prevent something from increasing or continuing: They have begun to vaccinate children in an attempt to check the spread of the disease.

check verb (LEAVE)

( UK usually check in) [T] mainly US to give your bags to airport employees to be put on a plane for you, rather than carrying them on and off the plane yourself : I got my boarding pass and checked my suitcase. Many airlines charge extra for checked bags/baggage/luggage. [T] mainly US to leave something with someone at a particular place, so that they can take care of it for a short time: It was hot so we checked our coats before going round the gallery.

check verb (AGREE)

[I] mainly US If information checks, it agrees with other information: Her statement checks with most of the eye-witness reports.

check verb (MARK)

A1 mainly US ( UK usually tick) [I or T] to mark something with a check: Check (off) each item on the list as you complete it.

check verb (CHESS)

[T] specialized games in the game of chess, to put the other player's king under direct attack, so that the other player is forced to defend against the attack in their next move

check verb (SPORTS)

[T] mainly US specialized sports in some sports such as ice hockey, to try to make another player lose the ball or puck, for example, by pushing them

check

noun uk   /tʃek/ us  

check noun (MONEY)

[C] US spelling of cheque

check noun (EXAMINATION)

B1 [C] an examination of something in order to make certain that it is correct or the way it should be: The soldiers gave their equipment a final check before setting off. "I can't find my keys." "Have another check in/through your jacket pockets." Security checks have become really strict at the airport. The police are carrying out spot checks on (= quick examinations of a limited number of) drivers over the Christmas period to test for alcohol levels. It's my job to keep a check on stock levels. I'll just run a check on (= find information about) that name for you in the computer.
More examples

check noun (PATTERN)

[C or U] a pattern of squares formed by lines of different colours crossing each other: a shirt with a pattern of blue and yellow checks a grey check suit

check noun (RESTAURANT)

A2 US [C] a bill noun in a restaurant, etc.: Can I have the check, please?

check noun (LIMIT)

hold/keep sth in check to limit something: We need to find ways of keeping our expenditure in check.checks and balances rules intended to prevent one person or group from having too much power within an organization: A system of checks and balances exists to ensure that our government is truly democratic.

check noun (MARK)

A2 [C] mainly US ( UK usually tick) a mark (✓) that shows that something is correct or has been done: Put a check by/against the names of the people who have accepted the invitation.

check noun (CHESS)

[U] specialized games in chess, the act of directly attacking the other player's king: I think I should have given check (= attacked my opponent's king) at move 23 instead of trying to find a safer square for the rook.in check specialized If your king is in check in chess, it is being directly attacked by the other player: Your king is in check from my knight.
Compare

check noun (SPORTS)

[C] mainly US specialized sports in some sports such as ice hockey, a defensive move (= trying to prevent scoring) in which a player tries to make another player lose the ball or puck, for example, by pushing them

check

exclamation uk   /tʃek/ us  

check exclamation (YES)

mainly US used to say yes to someone who is making certain that all the things on a list have been dealt with or included: "Did you bring your sleeping bag?" "Check." "Pillow?" "Check."

check exclamation (CHESS)

specialized games something you say in chess, if you directly attack the other player's king
Compare
(Definition of check from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of check?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “check” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More