- Chess. a position of the pieces in which a player cannot move any piece except the king and cannot move the king without putting it in check.
- any position or situation in which no action can be taken or progress made; deadlock: Talks between union and management resulted in a stalemate.
- to subject to a stalemate.
- to bring to a standstill.
- to be or result in a stalemate or standoff: Negotiations stalemated when new salary demands were introduced.
Origin of stalemate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stalemate
And finally, there is the fact that most of the culture wars have reached a stalemate.Return of the Northeastern Republican
November 4, 2014
By late August it looked like stalemate was almost certainly the tragic outcome of the years of war.Atlanta’s Fall Foretold The End Of Civil War Bloodshed
September 1, 2014
There are thought pieces on the inevitable outcome of Twitter fights (likely a stalemate, depending on who you read).Jameis Winston's Inevitable #epicfail
August 11, 2014
Webb believes he is just the sort of centrist leader who can break the Democrat-Republican stalemate in Washington.Will It Be ‘President Jim Webb’?
May 22, 2014
After 12 days of stalemate, conversations – if not negotiations – have started.Paralyzed by Polarization
October 12, 2013
He seems to have reached a psychological impasse or stalemate.A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis
"But it looks as though the best we can do is to stalemate," Bradley argued.
Although, it is rather near a stalemate for us both, isn't it?The Thing from the Lake
Eleanor M. Ingram
However, at least for the moment, he had reached a stalemate.Trading Jeff and his Dog
James Arthur Kjelgaard
"But it looks as though the best we can do is a stalemate," Bradley argued.
- a chess position in which any of a player's possible moves would place his king in check: in this position the game ends in a draw
- a situation in which two opposing forces find that further action is impossible or futile; deadlock
- (tr) to subject to a stalemate
Word Origin and History for stalemate
1765, in chess, from stale "stalemate" (early 15c.) + mate (n.2) "checkmate." Middle English stale is probably from Anglo-French estale "standstill" (see stall (n.2)). A misnomer, because a stale is not a mate. "In England from the 17th c. to the beginning of the 19th c. the player who received stalemate won the game" [OED]. Figurative sense is recorded from 1885.