1check /ˈʧɛk/ verb checks; checked; check·ing
1 : to look at (something) carefully to find mistakes, problems, etc., or to make sure there is nothing wrong with it
• Make sure to check your spelling.
• She checked her makeup in the mirror.
• We should check the equipment to make sure that it's working properly.
• I checked the tires for wear. [=to see if they are worn down/out]
• The guards checked my passport.
- + for
• Be careful to check for any mistakes.
• The border guards checked in my luggage for contraband.
- see also cross-check, double-check, spot-check
2 a : to get information by looking at something, asking about something, etc.
• He checked his watch and saw that it was almost noon.
• I'll just check the map to see where we are.
• I'll check the newspaper to see when the movie starts.
• We were out of milk last time I checked. [=looked]
• “Do you have these shoes in a larger size?” “I don't know. Let me check.” [=take a look]
• I think the door is locked, but I'll have to check (to be sure).
- often followed by to + verb
• Did you check to see where the movie was playing?
• I checked to make sure the door was locked.
b : to look at or in (a place) in order to find or get something or someone
• If you're looking for a spoon, check the top drawer.
• I checked his office but he wasn't there.
• If you're looking for the umbrella, check in the closet.
c [+ obj] : to find out if you have any (mail, messages, etc.)
• Did you check the mail yet today?
• She checked [=listened to] her phone messages when she got home.
• He logged on and checked [=read] his e-mail.
3 : to talk with someone in order to get approval, information, etc., about something
• I'll have to check with the manager before I can let you in.
• Check with your doctor to find out which drugs are safe.
• I'm not sure when you should arrive. I'll have to check that with my wife.
4 [+ obj]
a : to slow or stop (something or someone) from doing something
• She started to speak but then checked [=stopped] herself.
• The batter checked his swing. [=the batter started to swing and then stopped]
b hockey : to stop or hit (an opponent) in order to steal the ball or puck, defend the goal, etc.
• He was checked by the defender.
5 [+ obj] US
a : to leave (something you own) with a worker at a restaurant, hotel, etc., who keeps it in a special area or room (called a checkroom) while you are there
• I checked my hat and coat in the restaurant's checkroom.
b : to give (your bags, suitcases, etc.) to a worker so that they can be loaded onto a plane or train
• We checked our bags before boarding.
c : to take (someone's bags, suitcases, etc.) to load them onto a plane or train
• The airline checked our bags before we boarded.
- see also check in 3 (below)
6 [+ obj] US : to mark (something) with a check (✓) to show that it has been done, approved, etc.
• You should check [=(chiefly Brit) tick] each item on the list after you've completed it.
- often + off
• You should check off [=(chiefly Brit) tick off] each item on the list after you've completed it.
7 [no obj] US informal : to be proven to be true, accurate, etc. - usually used in negative statements
• Her story didn't check. [=the evidence did not support her story]
- see also check out 2 (below)
check back [phrasal verb] informal : to return to a place, person, etc., in order to try something again or to get additional information
• We are not hiring today, but check back next month.
• I'll check back with you [=talk to you again] in about a week.
check in [phrasal verb]
1 : to report to someone when you arrive at a place (such as an airport or convention) to let them know you are there
• Passengers must check in one hour before the flight leaves.
• Where do I have to check in? especially; : to arrive at and be given a room in a hotel, motel, etc.
• check in [=register] at a hotel
• Guests cannot check in before 4:00 PM.
- see also check-in
2 US informal : to talk with someone in order to report or find out new information
• I'm just checking in to see how things are going.
- usually + with
• I have to go to a meeting now, but I'll check in with you later.
3 check (something) in or check in (something) : to leave or take bags, suitcases, etc., so that they can be loaded onto a plane or train
• We checked our bags in at the station.
• The airline checked in our luggage.
check into [phrasal verb] check into (something)
1 : to arrive at and be given a room in (a hotel, motel, etc.)
• We checked into a hotel.
2 : to look for information about (something) : to find out the truth about (something) by getting information
• The police are checking into [=checking on, checking up on] his activities. [=the police are investigating his activities]
• A problem like that should really be checked into carefully.
check off on [phrasal verb] check off on (something) US informal : to give official approval for (something)
• My boss will have to check off on [=authorize, approve] my decision.
check on [phrasal verb] check on (someone or something)
1 : to look at or examine (someone or something) to see if there are any problems
• The nurse checked on the patients regularly.
2 : to look for information about (someone or something) : to find out the truth about (someone or something) by getting information
• The police are checking on [=checking up on] him.
• I asked the waiter to check on [=find out what was happening with] my order.
check out [phrasal verb]
1 a : to leave and pay for your room at a hotel, motel, etc.
• We checked out (of the hotel) early.
- see also checkout
b US informal : to die
• There are still a lot of things I want to accomplish in life before I finally check out.
2 US informal
a : to be proven to be accurate, true, etc.
• I didn't believe her at first, but her story checked out.
• The description checked out when we compared it with the photograph. [=we saw that the description was accurate when we compared it with the photograph]
b check out (something) or check (something) out : to find out if (something) is true
• The police are still trying to check out [=investigate, confirm] his alibi.
3 check out (something or someone) or check (something or someone) out
a : to look at (something or someone) in order to find problems, mistakes, etc.
• We carefully checked out the car for defects.
• He had problems with his computer and asked the technician to check it out.
• He needs to get checked out by a doctor.
b informal : to look at (someone or something that is attractive or interesting)
• When she walked into the room, all the guys were checking her out.
• Just check out his new car!
• We're going to the mall to check out that new clothing store.
- often used in the phrase check it out to direct someone's attention to something
• Check it out—they've got that new book in stock.
4 check out (something) or check (something) out
a : to borrow (something) from a library
• He checked out [=took out, borrowed] a book on farming.
b US : to add up the cost of the goods that someone buys in a store (such as a supermarket) and accept payment for them
• She got a job checking out groceries at the supermarket. also; : to pay for the goods that you buy in a store
• There was a long line of people waiting to check out their groceries.
• She was able to check out quickly using her debit card.
- see also checkout
check over [phrasal verb] check (something or someone) over or check over (something or someone) : to look at (something or someone) in a careful way to find problems, mistakes, etc.
• checking the new cars over
• The doctors checked him over for bruises.
• Be sure to check over each item on the list for any mistakes.
• She checked herself over [=she looked at herself carefully] in the mirror before going to the party.
check through [phrasal verb] check through (something) : to look at the parts of (a group of things)
• I checked through all his letters but found nothing useful.
check up on [phrasal verb] check up on (someone or something) : to find or look for information about (someone or something) often in order to find out the truth
• My parents are always checking up on me.
• The police are checking up on his alibi.
- check·able adj
• an easily checkable fact