[ chek-meyt ]
/ ˈtʃɛkˌmeɪt /
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Also called mate. Chess.
  1. 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.
  2. the position of the pieces when a king is checkmated.
a complete check; defeat: His efforts to escape met with a checkmate.

verb (used with object), check·mat·ed, check·mat·ing.

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.)



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Origin of checkmate

1300–50; Middle English chek mat(e) <Middle French escec mat<Arabic shāh māt<Persian: literally, the king (is) checked, nonplussed
un·check·mat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for checkmate

/ (ˈtʃɛkˌmeɪt) /


  1. the winning position in which an opponent's king is under attack and unable to escape
  2. the move by which this position is achieved
utter defeat

verb (tr)

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
C14: from Old French eschec mat, from Arabic shāh māt, the king is dead; see check
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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