- 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.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- 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: Middle English chek mat ; from Old French eschec mat, ultimately ; from Persian šāh māt, literally , the king is dead ; from šāh, king plush māt, he is dead
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transitive verb check·mat·ed, check·mat·ing, check·mates
- To attack (a chess opponent's king) in such a manner that no escape or defense is possible, thus ending the game.
- To defeat completely.
- a. A move that constitutes an inescapable and indefensible attack on a chess opponent's king.b. The position or condition of a king so attacked.
- Utter defeat.
Origin: Middle 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).