Check Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Check, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Check?

A check is a request or an order in writing to the bank to pay a certain sum of money, as specified in the check and to a particular person or organisation, from the account of the issuer of the check to the account of the bearer of the check or in cash. There are several types of check including blank, travellers, personal, cashiers etc. The checks can be met even after due dates. They can be bearers or at order.

History and Meaning of Check

The concept of a check dates back to at least 9th century Persia, where checks were used as a safer and more efficient form of payment compared to carrying large amounts of cash. The modern form of the check emerged in the 17th century in England, where it was known as a "bearer note." Checks became widely used in the United States in the early 20th century, and they remain a popular form of payment today.

A check is essentially a written order from the person or entity issuing the check, instructing their bank to pay a specific amount to the person or organization named on the check. The check can be made out for a specific amount or left blank for the recipient to fill in. There are different types of checks, including personal checks, cashier's checks, and traveler's checks.

Examples of Check

  1. John wrote a check for $100 to pay his monthly electric bill.
  2. The company issued a cashier's check for $10,000 to pay for a piece of equipment.
  3. Mary went to the bank and cashed a traveler's check for $500 while on vacation.
  4. The landlord requested that all rent payments be made by check or money order.
  5. Tom received a rebate check for $50 from a recent purchase.

Legal Terms Similar to Check

  1. Bill of exchange - A written order for the payment of money from one person or entity to another.
  2. Promissory note - A written promise to pay a certain amount of money by a certain date or on demand.
  3. Wire transfer - An electronic transfer of funds from one bank account to another.