chess

1 of 2

noun (1)

: 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

Illustration of chess

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

chess

2 of 2

noun (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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

origin unknown

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1736, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near chess

Cite this Entry

“Chess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chess. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

chess

noun
ˈches
: a game for two players each of whom plays with 16 pieces on a checkerboard

More from Merriam-Webster on chess

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