- [Chess] A word of warning denoting that the king is in danger; such a menace of a player's king by an adversary's move as would, if it were any other piece, expose it to immediate capture. A king so menaced is said to be in check, and must be made safe at the next move.
- A condition of interrupted or impeded progress; arrest; stop; delay; as, to hold an enemy in check ."Which gave a remarkable check to the first progress of Christianity." [Addison.]"No check, no stay, this streamlet fears." [Wordsworth.]
- Whatever arrests progress, or limits action; an obstacle, guard, restraint, or rebuff."Useful check upon the administration of government." [Washington.]"A man whom no check could abash." [Macaulay.]
- A mark, certificate, or token, by which, errors may be prevented, or a thing or person may be identified; as, checks placed against items in an account; a check given for baggage; a return check on a railroad.
- A written order directing a bank or banker to pay money as therein stated. See Bank check, below.
- A woven or painted design in squares resembling the patten of a checkerboard; one of the squares of such a design; also, cloth having such a figure.
- [Falconry] The forsaking by a hawk of its proper game to follow other birds.
- Small chick or crack.synonyms: Hindrance; setback; interruption; obstruction; reprimand; censure; rebuke; reproof; repulse; rebuff; tally; counterfoil; counterbalance; ticket; draft.
Etymology: OE. chek, OF. eschec, F. échec, a stop, hindrance, orig. check in the game of chess, pl. échecs chess, through Ar., fr. Pers. shāh king. See Shah, and cf. Checkmate Chess Checker