Sense: 1-4, 6-10
Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: eschec 'check in chess', from Arabic shah, from Persian, 'king'
Sense: 5
Date: 1400-1500
Origin: checker 'chessboard, pattern of squares' (14-21 centuries), from Old French eschequier, from eschec


2 noun
Related topics: Shapes, Patterns, Board Games
check2 S1 W3

finding out

[countable] the process of finding out if something is safe, correct, true, or in the condition it should be
check on
the need for tighter checks on arms sales
Conduct regular checks on your water quality.
run/carry out/make a check
I decided to run a check on all personnel.
I keep a careful check on my blood pressure.
have a check British English
Have a check in your bag first and see if it's there.
the airport's routine security checks
random drug checks
health/medical/dental etc check (=a test done to make sure you are healthy)
spot check (=a quick check of one thing among a group of things, that you do without warning)
a spot check on the accounts

keep/hold somebody/something in check

keep someone or something under control:
You must learn to keep your emotions in check.
attempts to keep global warming in check
He made an effort to hold himself in check.

a control on something

[countable usually singular] something that controls something else and stops it from getting worse, continuing to happen etc
check on
Higher interest rates will act as a check on public spending.

checks and balances

a system that makes it possible for some people or parts of an organization to control the others, so that no particular person or part has too much power or influence


[uncountable and countable]CF a pattern of squares, especially on cloth:
a shirt with brown and black checks
check suit/jacket etc (=made with cloth patterned with checks)
a blue cotton check dress

from your bank

[countable] the American spelling of cheque
check for
a check for $30
by check
Can I pay by check?

in a restaurant

[countable] American English a list that you are given in a restaurant showing what you have eaten and how much you must pay [= bill British English]

coat check/hat check

American English [countable]
a) DFDL a place in a restaurant, theatre etc where you can leave your coat, bag etc to be guarded
b) DCDL a ticket that you are given so you can claim your things from this place


[countable] American English a mark that you put next to an answer to show that it is correct or next to something on a list to show that you have dealt with it [= tick British English]


[uncountable]DGB the position of the king (=most important piece) in chess where it can be directly attacked by the opponent's pieces

Dictionary results for "check"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.