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checker1

[chek-er]
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noun
  1. a small, usually red or black disk of plastic or wood, used in playing checkers.
  2. 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.
  3. a checkered pattern.
  4. one of the squares of a checkered pattern.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to mark like a checkerboard.
  2. to diversify in color; variegate.
  3. to diversify in character; subject to alternations: Sorrow and joy have checkered his life.
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Also British, che·quer.

Origin of checker1

1250–1300; Middle English checker chessboard < Anglo-French escheker (by aphesis), equivalent to eschec check1 + -er -er2

checker2

[chek-er]
noun
  1. a person or thing that checks.
  2. a cashier, as in a supermarket or cafeteria.
  3. a person who checks coats, baggage, etc.
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Origin of checker2

First recorded in 1525–35; check1 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for checkers

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He attempted a game of checkers and lost, which did not tend to make his temper any sweeter.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It's all to do over again, checkers and everything—an' what'll he say to me?

    "Captains Courageous"

    Rudyard Kipling

  • Some were playing cards or checkers, some laughing and joking, and others reading.

    The Clansman

    Thomas Dixon

  • It is a game of chess, and not of solitaire, nor even of checkers.

    Over the Teacups

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • Almost unintentionally he followed the path that led past the Checkers of the Hope.

    The Lifeboat

    R.M. Ballantyne


British Dictionary definitions for checkers

checkers

noun
  1. (functioning as singular) US and Canadian a game for two players using a checkerboard and 12 checkers each. The object is to jump over and capture the opponent's pieces
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checker1

noun, verb
  1. the usual US spelling of chequer
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noun
  1. textiles a variant spelling of chequer (def. 2)
  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
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checker2

noun mainly US and Canadian
  1. a cashier, esp in a supermarket
  2. an attendant in a cloakroom, left-luggage office, etc
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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 checkers

n.

U.S. name for the game known in Britain as draughts, 1712, from plural of checker (n.1). So called for the board on which the game is played.

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checker

n.1

mid-13c., "game of chess (or checkers);" c.1300, "a chessboard, board with 64 squares for playing chess or similar games; a set of chessmen" a shortening of Old French eschequier "chessboard; a game of chess," from Medieval Latin scaccarium (see check (n.)).

Meaning "pattern of squares" is late 14c. Meaning "a man or marker in the game of checkers" is from 1864. British prefers chequer. From late 14c. as "a checked design." The word had earlier senses of "table covered with checked cloth for counting" (late 12c. in Anglo-Latin), a sense also in Old French (see checker (n.2)).

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checker

v.

"to ornament with a checked or chackered design," late 14c. (implied in checkered), from Old French eschequeré and from checker (n.1). Related: Checkering.

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checker

n.2

"table covered with a checked cloth," specialized sense of checker (n.1), late 14c. (in Anglo-Latin from c.1300); especially a table for counting money or keeping accounts (revenue reckoned with counters); later extended to "the fiscal department of the English Crown; the Exchequer (mid-14c.; in Anglo-Latin from late 12c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper