- The definition of checkmate is a move in the game of chess when the King is trapped and cannot escape or move out of harm's way.
When you have been finally and completely defeated in a chess game and there is no way for you to come back and win, this is an example of checkmate.
The checkmated black king lying on its side.
- the move that wins the game by checking the opponent's king so that it cannot be protected
- the condition of the king after such a move
- complete defeat, frustration, etc.
Origin of checkmateMiddle English chek mat ; from Old French eschec mat, ultimately ; from Persian šāh māt, literally , the king is dead ; from šāh, king + māt, he is dead
transitive verbcheck·mat·ed, check·mat·ing, check·mates
- To move a piece placing (an opponent's king) under threat of being taken on the next move with no way of escape or defense possible.
- To defeat completely.
- a. A move in chess that checkmates an opponent's king.b. The position or condition of a checkmated king.
- An utter defeat.
Origin of checkmateMiddle English chekmat, from Old French eschec mat, from Arabic šāh māt, the king is dead : šāh, king (from Persian shāh; see shah) + māt, died (from earlier māta, to die; see mwt in Semitic roots).
- (chess) Word called out by the victor when making the conclusive move.
(third-person singular simple present checkmates, present participle checkmating, simple past and past participle checkmated)
- (chess) To put the king of an opponent into checkmate.
- That jerk checkmated me in four moves!
- (by extension) To place in a losing situation that has no escape.