General Science

  • noun a tick used to mark or approve an item
  • verb to examine something to make sure it is in good working order


  • noun an examination to make certain that something is as it should be
  • verb to examine something in order to find out if it is correct


  • noun a mark on paper to show that something is correct

Cars & Driving

  • noun an inspection to see whether something is all right


  • A flapper or valve that permits fluid to flow in one direction only.
  • An attachment that regulates movement, such as a door check.
  • A small split in wood that runs parallel to the grain. Caused by shrinking during drying.


  • The verifying or testing of the accuracy, function, indications, or results of a component, device, instrument, system, or process.
  • A standard utilized for testing and/or verifying a component, device, instrument, system, or process.
  • A sudden stoppage or interruption of an action or process.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to look at something closely to make sure there are no mistakes


  • noun an examination to establish the accuracy, amount, condition or identity of something


  • exclamation
    (written as check!)
    yes. A jargon expression of affirmation (based on the mark of verification on a checklist, for instance) carried over into popular speech.
  • verb to visit, especially one’s girl/boyfriend. In this sense the term, popular since 2000, has been defined as ‘seeing someone, not officially going out’.


  • verb in sports such as ice hockey, to move directly into the path of an opponent, usually making physical contact, in order to block his or her progress


  • adjective with a pattern of small squares

Origin & History of “check”

There are two distinct words check in English, although by very involved pathways they are related. Check ‘verify’ (14th c.) is originally a chess term meaning ‘threaten the king’. It comes from Old French eschequier, a derivative of the noun eschec (source also of English chess), which goes back via vulgar Latin *scaccus and Arabic shāh to Persian shāh ‘king’ (whence also, of course, English shah). (Checkmate (14th c.) comes via Old French eschec mat from Persian shāh māt ‘the king is left helpless’; the second element turns up again in mat or matt ‘lustreless’.) From the very specific chess sense there developed more general applications such as ‘attack’, ‘arrest’, ‘stop’, ‘restrict’, and ‘verify’. among these in the 18th century was ‘token used as a counterfoil for verifying something, such as an amount’. As check this survives mainly in American English (as in ‘hat-check’), but in the specific financial sense of ‘written money order’ it was transformed in British English into cheque, perhaps under the influence of exchequer. Check ‘pattern of squares’ (14th c.) is probably short for chequer, which in turn is a reduced form of exchequer, a word derived ultimately from Vulgar Latin *scaccus ‘check’.