- 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.
checkmate definition by Webster's New World
- 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
checkmate definition by American Heritage Dictionary
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).