marked by numerous and various shifts or changes; variegated: a checkered career.
marked by dubious episodes; suspect in character or quality: a checkered past.
marked with squares: a checkered fabric.
diversified in color; alternately light and shadowed: the checkered shade beneath trees.

Nearby words

  1. checkedy,
  2. checker,
  3. checkerberry,
  4. checkerbloom,
  5. checkerboard,
  6. checkered career,
  7. checkered flag,
  8. checkered lily,
  9. checkers,
  10. checkerspot

Origin of checkered

1350–1400; Middle English. See checker1, -ed2

Related formsun·check·ered, adjective




a small, usually red or black disk of plastic or wood, used in playing checkers.
  1. Also called, British, draughts.(used with a singular verb)a game played by two persons, each with 12 playing pieces, on a checkerboard.
  2. (in a regenerative furnace) loosely stacked brickwork through which furnace gases and incoming air are passed in turn, so that the heat of the exhaust is absorbed and later transferred to the incoming air.
a checkered pattern.
one of the squares of a checkered pattern.

verb (used with object)

to mark like a checkerboard.
to diversify in color; variegate.
to diversify in character; subject to alternations: Sorrow and joy have checkered his life.
Also British, che·quer.

Origin of checker

1250–1300; Middle English checker chessboard < Anglo-French escheker (by aphesis), equivalent to eschec check1 + -er -er2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for checkered

British Dictionary definitions for checkered



noun, verb

the usual US spelling of chequer


textiles a variant spelling of chequer (def. 2)
US and Canadian any one of the 12 flat thick discs used by each player in the game of checkersAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): draughtsman



noun mainly US and Canadian

a cashier, esp in a supermarket
an attendant in a cloakroom, left-luggage office, etc
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

Word Origin and History for checkered
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper