Definition of check noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; tʃek


1 [countable] check (for/on something) an act of making sure that something is safe, correct or in good condition by examining itCould you give the tyres a check?a health checkThe drugs were found in their car during a routine check by police.a check for spelling mistakesI'll just have a quick check to see if the letter's arrived yet.It is vital to keep a check on your speed (= look at it regularly in order to control it). see also reality check


2 [countable] check (on somebody/something) an investigation to find out more information about somethingThe police ran a check on the registration number of the car.Was any check made on Mr Morris when he applied for the post?


3 [countable] check (on/to something) (formal) something that delays the progress of something else or stops it from getting worseA cold spring will provide a natural check on the number of insects.the most fundamental check to the power of the British monarchy4 checks [plural] (formal) rules that are designed to control the amount of power, especially political power, that one person or group has see also checks and balances


5 [countable, uncountable] a pattern of squares, usually of two coloursDo you prefer checks or stripes?a check shirt/suita yellow and red check skirt see also checked


6 [countable] (US) = cheque7 [countable] (North American English) = billCan I have the check, please?

for coats/bags

8 [countable] (North American English) coat check a place in a club, restaurant, etc. where you can leave your coat or bag9 [countable] (North American English) a ticket that you get when you leave your coat, bag, etc. in, for example, a restaurant or theatre

in game

10 [uncountable] (in chess) a position in which a player's king (= the most important piece) can be directly attacked by the other player's piecesThere, you're in check. see also checkmate


11 (also check mark) (both North American English) (British English tick) [countable] a mark (✓) put beside a sum or an item on a list, usually to show that it has been checked or done or is correct compare cross, X (4)

hold/keep something in check

to keep something under control so that it does not spread or get worse
Maggie managed to keep her temper in check.The epidemic was held in check by widespread vaccination.
more at take a rain check at rain checkUsage noteUsage note: billaccount invoice checkThese are all words for a record of how much you owe for goods or services you have bought or used.bill a list of goods that you have bought or services that you have used, showing how much you owe; the price or cost of something:the gas billaccount an arrangement with a shop/store or business to pay bills for goods or services at a later time, for example in regular amounts every month:Put it on my account please.invoice (rather formal) a bill for goods that somebody has bought or work that has been done for somebody:The builders sent an invoice for £250.bill or invoice?You would get a bill in a restaurant, bar or hotel; from a company that supplies you with gas, electricity, etc; or from somebody whose property you have damaged. An invoice is for goods supplied or work done as agreed between a customer and supplier.check (North American English) a piece of paper that shows how much you have to pay for the food and drinks that you have had in a restaurant:Can I have the check, please? In British English the usual word for this is bill.the bill/invoice/check for somethingto pay/settle a(n) bill/account/invoice/checkto put something on the/somebody's bill/account/invoice/check