1

checkmate

verb check·mate \ ˈchek-ˌmāt \

Definition of checkmate

transitive verb
1 :to arrest, thwart, or counter completely
2 :to check (a chess opponent's king) so that escape is impossible

Examples of checkmate in a Sentence

  1. finally checkmated the billionaire in his attempt to take over the movie studio

Figurative checkmate and Other Chess Terms

Checkmate is one of the most recognizable words from the world of chess. It is often found both in its original sense (referring to the placing of an opponent’s king in an inescapable position) and in a figurative one (“to thwart”). But it is just one of a number of words in English that that either originated in, or gained popularity from, the game of chess before developing an extended metaphorical sense.

End game may refer to the final stages of a game of chess or to the final stage of other actions or processes. Gambit initially had the sole meaning “a chess opening in which a player voluntarily risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position” but now may also signify “a calculated move, maneuver, or device.” And pawn has developed the sense “one that can be used often to his own disadvantage to further the purposes of another” from its original designation as the least powerful piece on the chess board.

Origin and Etymology of checkmate

Middle English chekmaten, from chekmate, interjection used to announce checkmate, from Anglo-French eschec mat, from Arabic shāh māt, from Persian, literally, the king is left unable to escape


2

checkmate

noun

Definition of checkmate

1 a :the act of checkmating
b :the situation of a checkmated king
2 :a complete check

Examples of checkmate in a Sentence

  1. a brilliant move that resulted in checkmate

  2. The challenger can force a checkmate with his next move.

Recent Examples of checkmate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'checkmate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of checkmate

15th century


CHECKMATE Defined for English Language Learners

checkmate

noun

Definition of checkmate for English Language Learners

  • : a situation in chess in which a player loses the game because that player's king is in a position from which it cannot escape


CHECKMATE Defined for Kids

checkmate

noun check·mate \ ˈchek-ˌmāt \

Definition of checkmate for Students

:a situation in chess in which a player loses because the player's king is in a position from which it cannot escape capture


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