[ches-man, -muh n]

noun, plural chess·men [ches-men, -muh n] /ˈtʃɛsˌmɛn, -mən/.

any piece used in the game of chess.

Origin of chessman

1275–1325; Middle English; earlier chesse meyne, equivalent to chesse chess1 + meyne household (man, men by folk etymology) < Middle French mesniée < Latin mansiōn- (stem of mansiō); see mansion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chessmen

Historical Examples of chessmen

  • They would stick nicely, and stand up as straight as any chessmen.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • It was laid away in a chest with the chessmen, ready to receive the picture.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • Layton made no reply, but began to set the chessmen upon the board at random.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

  • But she rose and brought the box of chessmen, while he rolled the table from its corner.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • He gave up after awhile, and put the chessmen away in their proper places.

    The Magic City

    Edith Nesbit

British Dictionary definitions for chessmen


noun plural -men

any of the eight pieces and eight pawns used by each player in a game of chess

Word Origin for chessman

C17: back formation from chessmen, from Middle English chessemeyne chess company, from meynie, menye company, body of men, from Old French meyné
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 chessmen

also chess-men, late 15c., from chess + men.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper