What Does A Checkup Mean?

Checkup Meaning

Definition: A medical examination conducted by a professional, most commonly a doctor.

In English, a checkup refers to a medical examination of some kind. This may be performed by a doctor, dentist, or other type of mental health profession. Checkup generally refers to routine medical examinations rather than specific incidents that require medical attention. For example, no one goes to the emergency room for a checkup.

A regular checkup, often taking place on a yearly basis, is a type of preventive medical visit.

Origin of A Checkup

Regular medical check upIt is speculated that the term checkup was first used in 1921, although there is little information about its first use in literature. The verb phrase to check up, which means to perform an examination of something, was first used in 1889. It is unclear when the verb phrase was first used in this context in literature.

Sometimes checkup can be hyphenated as it appears in the below Washington Post example. The term has the same meaning whether or not it is hyphenated. The verb phrase to check up is never hyphenated, however.

Examples of A Checkup

 Medical check up definitionThis phrase is most commonly used to refer to routine medical or dental examinations. For example, if Chris went to the doctor because he broke his foot, he wouldn’t say that he went to the doctor for a checkup.

A checkup is a general health examination, and it is not used to refer to specific situations that require immediate medical attention.

This sample conversation between two friends demonstrates the correct use of this phrase.

Barbara: How did your doctor’s appointment go?

Ann: It went well; it was just a checkup. He said everything looks fine, and he’ll see me again next year.

More Examples

  • And the checkups consume billions, although no one is sure exactly how many billions because of the challenge of measuring the additional screenings and follow-up tests. –The New York Times


The English term checkup refers to a routine medical examination carried out by a medical professional. This phrase may or may not be hyphenated.