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[ches-man, -muh n] /ˈtʃɛsˌmæn, -mən/
noun, plural chessmen
[ches-men, -muh n] /ˈtʃɛsˌmɛn, -mən/ (Show IPA)
any piece used in the game of chess.
Origin of chessman
1275-1325; Middle English; earlier chesse meyne, equivalent to chesse chess1 + meyne household (man, men by folk etymology) < Middle French mesniée < Latin mansiōn- (stem of mansiō); see mansion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chessmen
Historical Examples
  • They would stick nicely, and stand up as straight as any chessmen.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic Olive Thorne Miller
  • It was laid away in a chest with the chessmen, ready to receive the picture.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic Olive Thorne Miller
  • Layton made no reply, but began to set the chessmen upon the board at random.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • But she rose and brought the box of chessmen, while he rolled the table from its corner.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • He gave up after awhile, and put the chessmen away in their proper places.

    The Magic City Edith Nesbit
  • A chess-board; and Italians were the chessmen to this cold player with live flesh.

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
  • However, it's her move; we make a corresponding disposition of our chessmen.'

  • Piece by piece there grew before our eyes a set of chessmen.

    The Great Quest Charles Boardman Hawes
  • They represented the chessmen with which the game is played.

    Mitz and Fritz of Germany Madeline Brandeis
  • Adventure with lady and chessmen in tower as in Conte del Graal.

British Dictionary definitions for chessmen


/ˈtʃɛsˌmæn; -mən/
noun (pl) -men
any of the eight pieces and eight pawns used by each player in a game of chess
Word Origin
C17: back formation from chessmen, from Middle English chessemeyne chess company, from meynie, menye company, body of men, from Old French meyné
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chessmen

also chess-men, late 15c., from chess + men.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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