- Also called mate. Chess.
- an act or instance of maneuvering the opponent's king into a check from which it cannot escape, thus bringing the game to a victorious conclusion.
- the position of the pieces when a king is checkmated.
- a complete check; defeat: His efforts to escape met with a checkmate.
- Chess. to maneuver (an opponent's king) into a check from which it cannot escape; mate.
- to check completely; defeat: Napoleon was checkmated at Waterloo.
- Chess. (used by a player to announce that he or she has put the opponent's king into inextricable check.)
Origin of checkmate
Examples from the Web for checkmate
She got their whole plan and went along to try to checkmate them.Poisoned Air
Sterner St. Paul Meek
He moved about the board with an assumption that said, I can checkmate you when I will!Barrington
Charles James Lever
I can see that he is artfully intriguing for Mr. Wharton's favor, but I must checkmate him.The Cash Boy
Horatio Alger Jr.
It was the cruellest thing to checkmate him after so much labour, she considered.A Pair of Blue Eyes
Therefore, it is imperative that we know Grant's plans so that we can checkmate them.The Lost Despatch
Natalie Sumner Lincoln
- the winning position in which an opponent's king is under attack and unable to escape
- the move by which this position is achieved
- utter defeat
- chess to place (an opponent's king) in checkmate
- to thwart or render powerless
- chess a call made when placing an opponent's king in checkmate
Word Origin and History for checkmate
mid-14c., from Old French eschec mat (Modern French échec et mat), which (with Spanish jaque y mate, Italian scacco-matto) is from Arabic shah mat "the king died" (see check (n.1)), which according to Barnhart is a misinterpretation of Persian mat "be astonished" as mata "to die," mat "he is dead." Hence Persian shah mat, if it is the ultimate source of the word, would be literally "the king is left helpless, the king is stumped."
late 14c.; see checkmate (n.). Related: Checkmated; checkmating.