Suppose you enumerate points of some list, adding "check" after each one. How to speak about the reverse of a "check" (i.e. omission or an opposite for the item)?

Like if you have:

  • Big scary horns ☑
  • 180° mounth ☑
  • 50-cm claws ☑
  • Predatory glare ☒

and say

Look there! Such a beast: big scary horns — check; yawning mouth — check; loooong claws — check; predatory glare — _____, hovewer..

Variants that come to mind:

  • "no check"
  • "ex"
  • "miss"
  • "no"
  • "without check"
  • "cross"
  • 3
    In this context, check just means yes, so the opposite is no. Jan 16, 2013 at 1:43

6 Answers 6


I usually say uncheck in this context.

  • 2
    That seems quite strange to me. ‘Uncheck’ to me means that the options have already been checked and are now being returned to their original state of not being checked. If you are going through a list of things to check for, and you cannot answer in the positive for one of those things, you’re not unchecking it. Sep 3, 2013 at 19:26

The word you select must be strong enough to overcome the assumption by the listener that the characteristic you have just named is present. That is, the listener will have mentally "checked it off" as you say it.

To overcome this tendency, you need to place the negative indicator before the label when speaking. I suggest:

"Look there! Such a beast: big scary horns - check, yawning mouth - check, loooong claws - check; but no predatory glare ....".


I like:

Predatory glare, negatory.

  • 4
    Maybe better "negative"?
    – Vi0
    Jan 16, 2013 at 0:52
  • @Vi0: Sure, but negatory has this military/trucker-slang thing going for it. Depends what you're looking for. Jan 16, 2013 at 0:56
  • 1
    Or maybe Nope
    – Jim
    Jan 16, 2013 at 1:31

I have used "missing", "unsure", "pending" in such cases. I have also used expletives.


The term (in the context of lists) means "Yes, I agree - continue with the next item."

You need a word which is short, snappy, and means the opposite - that word is "STOP"

i.e. - Stop the list - we need to discuss this item.


How about absent as one is processing the list?

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