chess

noun (1)
\ ˈches How to pronounce chess (audio) \

Definition of chess

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a game for 2 players each of whom moves 16 pieces according to fixed rules across a checkerboard and tries to checkmate the opponent's king

chess

noun (2)

Definition of chess (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a weedy annual European bromegrass (Bromus secalinus) widely naturalized in North America as a weed especially in grain
2 : any of several weedy bromegrasses related to chess

Illustration of chess

Illustration of chess

Noun (1)

chessboard with chess pieces arranged as at the beginning of a game

In the meaning defined above

First Known Use of chess

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chess

Noun (1)

Middle English ches, from Anglo-French escheks, eschés, plural of eschec check at chess — more at check

Noun (2)

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chess

Time Traveler for chess

Time Traveler

The first known use of chess was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for chess

Cite this Entry

“Chess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chess. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chess

chess

noun
\ ˈches How to pronounce chess (audio) \

Kids Definition of chess

: a game for two players in which each player moves 16 pieces according to fixed rules across a checkerboard and tries to place the opponent's king in a position from which it cannot escape

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on chess

Nglish: Translation of chess for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chess for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chess

Comments on chess

What made you want to look up chess? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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