American English

Definition of check verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they check
    he / she / it checks
    past simple checked
    -ing form checking
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  1. 1[transitive] check something (for something) to examine something to see if it is correct, safe, or acceptable Check the container for cracks or leaks. She gave me the minutes of the meeting to read and check. Check the oil and water before leaving. Check your work before handing it in. Customs officers have the right to check all luggage going through customs.
  2. make sure
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to find out if something is correct or true, or if something is how you think it is “Is Mary in the office?” “Just a moment. I'll go and check.” check (that)… Go and check (that) I've locked the windows. check (with somebody) (what/whether, etc…) You'd better check with Jane what time she's expecting us tonight. see also cross-check, double-check
  4. coats/bags/cases
  5. 3[transitive] check something to leave coats, bags, etc. in an official place (called acheckroom) while you are visiting a club, restaurant, etc. Do you want to check your coats?
  6. 4[transitive] check something to leave bags or cases with an official so that they can be put on a plane How many bags are you checking?
  7. make mark
  8. 5[transitive] check something to put a mark (✓) next to an item on a list, an answer, etc. Check the box next to the right answer.
  9. control
  10. 6[transitive] check something to control something; to stop something from increasing or getting worse The government is determined to check the growth of public spending. She tied some strips of cloth around the wound to check the bleeding.
  11. 7[transitive] to stop yourself from saying or doing something, or from showing a particular emotion check something to check your anger/laughter/tears check yourself She wanted to tell him the whole truth but she checked herself—it wasn't the right moment.
  12. in hockey
  13. 8[transitive] check somebody to push or hit someone hard with your body or a stick in order to stop them He checked his opponent and stole the puck.
  14. Thesauruscheckexamine inspect go over somethingThese words all mean to look closely to make sure that everything is correct, in good condition, or acceptable.check to look at something closely to make sure that everything is correct, in good condition, safe, or satisfactory:Check your work before handing it in.examine to look at someone or something closely to see if there is anything wrong or to find the cause of a problem:The goods were examined for damage.inspect to look at someone or something closely to make sure that everything is satisfactory; to officially visit a school, factory, etc. in order to check that rules are being followed and that standards are acceptable:Make sure you inspect the goods before signing for them. The state health board inspects all restaurants at least once a year.check, examine, or inspect?All these words can be used when you are looking for possible problems, but only check is used for mistakes:Examine/Inspect your work before handing it in.Only examine is used when looking for the cause of a problem:The doctor checked/inspected her but could find nothing wrong.Examine is used more often when talking about the activities of a professional person:The surveyor examined the walls for signs of termites.Inspect is used more often about an official:Public health officials were called in to inspect the nursing home.go over something to check something carefully for mistakes, damage, or anything dangerous:My boss goes over each report in detail.Patterns to check/examine/inspect/go over something for something to check/examine/inspect/go over something to see if/whether… to check/examine/inspect/go over something carefully/thoroughly Phrasal Verbscheck in (at…)check somethingincheck into…check somebody/somethingoffcheck on somebody/somethingcheck outcheck out (of…)check somebodyoutcheck somebody/somethingoutcheck somethingoutcheck over/throughsomethingcheck up on somebodycheck up on something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: check