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check - definition and synonyms


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noun check pronunciation in American English /tʃek/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable] an examination of something to find out whether it is as it should be
    check for: a check for spelling errors
    check on: They do routine checks on the condition of the planes.
    make a check: He made a final check of the doors to be sure they were locked.
    do a check: They’ll be running a sound check before the concert.
    1. a.
      an examination of someone to find out whether they are healthy
      check for: a routine check for skin cancer
    2. b.
      an examination by the police, army, etc. of an area, or people or vehicles passing through an area, in order to be certain that there is no danger or illegal activity
      Airport police later confirmed that the courier had managed to pass through the security check without being detected.
      check on: They run a police check on all applicants for a gun license.
    See also spot check
  2. 2
    [countable] one of the pieces of printed paper that your bank gives you so you can pay for things without using money
    check for: a check for $50
    by check (=with a check): Can I pay by check?
  3. 3
    [countable] something that controls another thing and stops it from becoming worse, too powerful, etc.
    check on: Economic forces act as a check on political power.
  4. 6
    [countable/uncountable] a pattern of squares, usually of two colors
    a sheet with red and white checks
    He was wearing a check shirt.



a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

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a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

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