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A cardboard carton with checkboxes indicating different sizes that are unchecked (sense 3)

Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈtʃɛkt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt
  • Hyphenation: un‧checked

Etymology 1[edit]

un- +‎ checked.


unchecked (not comparable)

  1. Unrestrained, not held back.
    • 1605–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies, London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, Act IV, scene iii, page 94:
      The Earth's a Theefe, / That feeds and breeds by a compoſture ſtolne / From gen'rall excrement: each thing's a Theefe. The Lawes, your curbe and whip, in their rough power / Ha's vncheck'd Theft.
    • 1658, [John Mennes; James Smith], “The Same, to the Same [Mr. Smith, to Captain Mennis]”, in Wit Restor'd in Severall Select Poems Not Formerly Publish't, London: Printed for R. Pollard, N. Brooks, and T[homas] Dring, and are to be sold at the Old Exchange, and in Fleetstreet, OCLC 82393304; republished in Facetiae. Musarum deliciæ: Or, The Muses Recreation. Conteining Severall Pieces of Poetique Wit by Sr. J. M. and Ja: S. 1656. And Wit Restor'd, in Severall Select Poems, Not Formerly Publish't. 1658. Also Wits Recreations, Selected from the Finest Fancies of Moderne Muses. With a Thousand Out-landish Proverbs. Printed from Edition 1640, with All the Wood Engravings, and Improvements of Subsequent Editions. To which are Now Added Memoirs of Sir John Mennis and Dr. James Smith. With a Preface. In Two Volumes, volume I, London: Printed by T[homas] Davison, Whitefriars; for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster-Row, 1817, OCLC 230583538, page 113:
      O happy captain, that may'st houze / In quarter free, and uncheckt brouze / On teeming hedge, when purse is light, / Or on the wholsom sallat bite: []
    • 1722, Edward Maynard, “Sermon II. Of Judging Others as to Their Final State”, in Sermons Preach'd before the University of Oxford: or before the Honourable Society of Lincolns-Inn. With Two Discourses on Natural and Reveal'd Religion, London: Printed for Jonah Bowyer at the Rose in St. Paul's Church-Yard, OCLC 191672662, pages 25–26:
      [] For, whenever his Bounty is miſus'd, by being made to miniſter to our Luſts or any unlawful Paſſions, if he ſhall ſtill ſuffer us to go on in an uncheckt Courſe of Proſperity, That is what may Pleaſe Us, and we may be likely to think it God's Favour and Kindneſs to Us, which would really be one of his Greateſt Plagues.
    • 1785, Samuel Johnson, “Prologue to the Comedy of the Good Natur'd-Man. 1769.”, in George Kearsley, editor, The Poetical Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Now First Collected in One Volume, London: Printed for the editor, and sold by G. Kearsley, No. 46, Fleet Street, OCLC 751641860, pages 177–178:
      The buſy candidates for power and fame / Have hopes, and fears, and wiſhes juſt the ſame; / Diſabled both to combat, or to fly, / Muſt hear all taunts, and hear without reply. / Uncheck'd on both, loud rabbles vent their rage, / As mongrels bay the lion in a cage.
    • 1795, William Shenstone, “The Progress of Taste: Or, The Fate of Delicacy. A Poem on the Temper and Studies of the Author; and how Great a Misfortune It Is, for a Man of Small Estate to Have Much Taste.”, in Robert Anderson, editor, The Works of the British Poets. With Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, by Robert Anderson, M.D., volume IX, London: Printed for John & Arthur Arch; and for Bell & Bradfute, and J. Mundell & Co. Edinburgh, OCLC 458837347, part II, page 644:
      He ſeeks reſpect—but how to gain it? / Wit, ſocial mirth, could ne'er obtain it: / And laughter, where it reigns uncheck'd, / Diſcards and diſſipates respect.
    • 1821–1824, John Clare, “The Mores”, lines 1–10; reprinted in Merryn Williams and Raymond Williams, editors, John Clare: Selected Poetry and Prose, London; New York, N.Y.: Methuen Publishing, 1986, ISBN 978-0-416-41120-1, pages 90–91:
      Far spread the moorey ground a level scene / Bespread with rush and one eternal green / That never felt the rage of blundering plough / Through centurys wreathed springs blossoms on its brow / Still meeting plains that stretched them far away / In uncheckt shadows of green brown and grey / Unbounded freedom ruled the wandering scene / Nor fence of ownership crept in between / To hide the prospect of the following eye / Its only bondage was the circling sky []
    • 1863, Arthur Henry Hallam, “Written after Visiting Melrose Abbey in Company of Sir Walter Scott”, in Henry Hallam, editor, Remains in Verse and Prose of Arthur Henry Hallam. With a Preface and Memoir, new edition, London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, OCLC 9173904, stanza V, page 44:
      Then ceased I from my envying state, / And knew that aweless intellect / Hath power upon the ways of fate, / And works through time and space uncheckt.
    • 1993, Harold W. Bernard, Jr., “Is There Any Hope?”, in Global Warming Unchecked: Signs to Watch for, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Ind.: Indiana University Press, →ISBN, page 157:
      [H]ow long we should study 'before' we act is not a scientific judgment but a value judgment, weighing the costs of any present investment to slow down the future climate change versus the costs of that change descending on us unchecked.
    • 2007, Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr.; Aziz Z. Huq, Unchecked And Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror, New York, N.Y.: The New Press; Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law, →ISBN:
      Nothing in today's torture, rendition, spying, and indefinite detention policies suggests human nature has evolved since [James] Madison's day, or since the Church Committee some three decades ago. Wise restraint—not unchecked and unbounded license—still makes us safe and keeps us free.
  2. Not examined for accuracy, efficiency, etc.
    • 2009, Cay [S.] Horstmann, “Input/Output and Exception Handling”, in Big Java: Compatible with Java 5, 6 and 7, 4th edition, Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 483:
      Java exceptions fall into two categories, called checked and unchecked exceptions. When you call a method that throws a checked exception, the compiler checks that you don't ignore it. You must tell the compiler what you are going to do about the exception if it is ever thrown. [] On the other hand, the compiler does not require you to keep track of unchecked exceptions. [] A checked exception describes a problem that is likely to occur at times, no matter how careful you are. The unchecked exceptions, on the other hand, are your fault.
  3. (chiefly computing) Of a check box: not checked (ticked or enabled).
    • 1995, Boris Beizer, Black-Box Testing: Techniques for Functional Testing of Software and Systems, New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 95:
      This pseudocode is unambiguous if we know that the previous state of all the boxes is "unchecked." Because we can't be sure of that in buggy code, a better model might be: []
    • 2004, Bill Camarda, “Creating Forms”, in Using Microsoft Office Word 2003, special edition, Indianapolis, Ind.: Que Publishing, Pearson Education, →ISBN, page 945:
      Check boxes are a handy way to enable users to select one or more options that are not mutually exclusive. [] By default, [Microsoft] Word displays boxes unchecked.
  4. (crossword puzzles) Of a square: part of only one entry (that is, across or down, but not both).
    • 1986 March 27, Pat Isaacson, “Patterns of Puzzlement: Passing Observations on Crossword Puzzles”, in New Scientist, volume 109, number 1501, [London]: [New Science Publications], ISSN 0262-4079, OCLC 2378350, page 50:
      If there are "unchecked" whites (that is, those which enter into the solution of one clue only), and "checked" whites (those which enter into the solution of two clues), then the mean word length will be , where C is the number of clues. [] Acceptable (if unwelcome) difficulties arise when the initial letters of words occupy unchecked squares, because no hint then derives from other clues as to how that word will start. In six consecutive crossword puzzles in The Times, 16 per cent of the words had unchecked initial letters.
    • 2009, Timothy E[ric] Parker; Joan Friedman, “Completing the Grid: How to Solve a Crossword”, in Crosswords for Seniors for Dummies, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing, →ISBN, page 8:
      On a crossword puzzle grid, you shouldn't encounter any unchecked squares – white squares that are used in an Across entry but not in a Down entry, or vice versa. If unchecked squares were allowed, that would make your life harder – you'd have only one opportunity to figure out what belongs in that square. Instead, you always get two chances to fill a square: by solving the Across clue or the Down clue.
Derived terms[edit]
  • (crossword puzzles): unch

Etymology 2[edit]

See uncheck.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of uncheck.