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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alquerque was in 1879

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near alquerque

Cite this Entry

“Alquerque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!