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end game

or end·game

noun
  1. Chess. the final stage of a game, usually following the exchange of queens and the serious reduction of forces.
  2. the late or final stages of any activity: the end game of the negotiations.
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Origin of end game

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for end game

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The handling of the King becomes of paramount importance once the end-game stage is reached.

    Chess Fundamentals

    Jos Ral Capablanca


Idioms and Phrases with end game

end game

The final stage of some process, as in The book discussed the diplomatic end game resulting in the treaty. This term, dating from about 1880, comes from chess, where it denotes the stage of a game when most of the pieces have been removed from the board. In the mid-1900s it began to be transferred to other activities.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.