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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English chek, chekke, from Old French eschek, eschec, eschac, from Medieval Latin scaccus, from Arabic شَاه (šāh), from Persian شاه (šâh, king), from Middle Persian 𐭬𐭫𐭪𐭠 (šāh), from Old Persian 𐏋 (xšāyaθiya, king), from Proto-Indo-Iranian *ksayati (he rules, he has power over), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tke- (to gain power over, gain control over). All English senses developed from the chess sense. Compare Saterland Frisian Schak, Schach, Dutch schaak, German Schach, Danish skak, Swedish schack, Icelandic skák, French échec, Italian scacco. See chess.


check (plural checks)

  1. (chess) A situation in which the king is directly threatened by an opposing piece.
  2. An inspection or examination.
    I don't know if she will be there, but it's worth a check.
  3. A control; a limit or stop.
    checks and balances
    The castle moat should hold the enemy in check.
    • Addison
      a remarkable check to the first progress of Christianity
  4. (US) A mark (especially a checkmark: ) used as an indicator, equivalent to a tick (UK).
    Place a check by the things you have done.
  5. (US) An order to a bank to pay money to a named person or entity; a cheque (UK, Canada).
    I was not carrying cash, so I wrote a check for the amount.
  6. (US) A bill, particularly in a restaurant.
    I summoned the waiter, paid the check, and hurried to leave.
  7. (contact sports) A maneuver performed by a player to take another player out of the play.
    The hockey player gave a good hard check to obtain the puck.
  8. A token used instead of cash in gaming machines.
    • 1963, American law reports annotated: second series (volume 89)
      [] the statute prohibits a machine which dispenses checks or tokens for replay []
  9. A lengthwise separation through the growth rings in wood.
  10. A mark, certificate, or token, by which, errors may be prevented, or a thing or person may be identified.
    a check given for baggage; a return check on a railroad
  11. (falconry) The forsaking by a hawk of its proper game to follow other birds.
  12. A small chink or crack.
Derived termsEdit
  • See below
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


check (third-person singular simple present checks, present participle checking, simple past and past participle checked)

  1. To inspect; to examine.
    Check the oil in your car once a month.
    Check whether this page has a watermark.
  2. To verify the accuracy of a text or translation, usually making some corrections (proofread) or many (copyedit).
  3. (US, often used with "off") To mark items on a list (with a checkmark or by crossing them out) that have been chosen for keeping or removal or that have been dealt with (for example, completed or verified as correct or satisfactory); to check off, tick (UK), tick off (UK), cross off, strike off.
    Check the items on the list that interest you.
    Check off the items that you've checked (inspected).
    Check the correct answer to each question.
  4. To control, limit, or halt.
    Check your enthusiasm during a negotiation.
    • Burke
      so many clogs to check and retard the headlong course of violence and oppression
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Chapter 13
      She was about to retort but something checked the words on her tongue.
  5. To verify or compare with a source of information.
    Check your data against known values.
  6. To leave in safekeeping.
    Check your hat and coat at the door.
  7. To leave with a shipping agent for shipping.
    Check your bags at the ticket counter before the flight.
  8. (street basketball) To pass or bounce the ball to an opponent from behind the three-point line and have the opponent pass or bounce it back to start play.
    He checked the ball and then proceeded to perform a perfect layup.
    That basket doesn't count—you forgot to check!
  9. (contact sports) To hit another player with one's body.
    The hockey player checked the defenceman to obtain the puck.
  10. (poker) To remain in a hand without betting. Only legal if no one has yet bet.
    Tom didn't think he could win, so he checked.
  11. (chess) To make a move which puts an adversary's piece, especially the king, in check; to put in check.
  12. To chide, rebuke, or reprove.
    • Shakespeare
      The good king, his master, will check him for it.
  13. (nautical) To slack or ease off, as a brace which is too stiffly extended.
  14. To crack or gape open, as wood in drying; or to crack in small checks, as varnish, paint, etc.
  15. To make checks or chinks in; to cause to crack.
    The sun checks timber.
  16. To make a stop; to pause; with at.
    • John Locke
      The mind, once jaded by an attempt above its power, either is disabled for the future, or else checks at any vigorous undertaking ever after.
  17. (obsolete) To clash or interfere.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
  18. To act as a curb or restraint.
    • Dryden
      It [his presence] checks too strong upon me.
  19. (falconry) To turn, when in pursuit of proper game, and fly after other birds.
    • Shakespeare
      And like the haggard, check at every feather / That comes before his eye.
Derived termsEdit
  • See below
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

By shortening from checker, from Old French eschequier (chessboard), from Medieval Latin scaccarium, ultimately from the same Persian root as above.


check (plural checks)

  1. (textiles, usually pluralized) A pattern made up of a grid of squares of alternating colors; a checkered pattern.
    The tablecloth had red and white checks.






check m (plural checks)

  1. (slang) fist bump



check m (plural checks)

  1. check (mark)




check c

  1. cheque, check


Declension of check 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative check checken checkar checkarna
Genitive checks checkens checkars checkarnas