al·​quer·​que | \ al-ˈkər-kē How to pronounce alquerque (audio) \

Definition of alquerque

: an ancient board game regarded as a precursor to checkers in which two players each having twelve pieces begin play with their pieces arranged on a board five spaces wide and five spaces deep with one open space in the middle Draughts were invented about 1100, probably in the south of France, by using backgammon pieces on a chessboard with the moves of alquerque.— R. C. Bell, Board and Table Game Antiques, 2008

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First Known Use of alquerque

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alquerque

borrowed from Spanish, borrowed from Arabic al “the” + qirq, a board game

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The first known use of alquerque was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Alquerque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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