An example of a stalemate is when you take one position and won't budge or compromise and your opponent takes another and won't budge, making it impossible to meet in the middle or progress forward.
- Chess any situation in which a player, whose king is not currently in check, cannot move without placing that king in check: it results in a draw
- any unresolved situation in which further action is impossible or useless; deadlock; draw
Origin of stalemateobsolete stale, stalemate ; from Middle English ; from Old French estal, fixed location, safe place ; from Gmc, as in Old High German stal (see stall) + mate
- A situation in which further action is blocked; a deadlock.
- A drawing position in chess in which the king, although not in check, can move only into check and no other piece can move.
transitive verbstale·mat·ed, stale·mat·ing, stale·mates
Origin of stalemateObsolete stale (from Middle English, probably from Anglo-Norman estale, fixed position, from Old French estal; see stale1) + mate2.
- (chess) The state in which the player to move is not in check but has no legal moves, resulting in a draw.
- Any situation that has no obvious possible movement, but does not involve any personal loss.
(third-person singular simple present stalemates, present participle stalemating, simple past and past participle stalemated)
- (chess) To bring about a state in which the player to move is not in check but has no legal moves.
- (figuratively) To bring about a stalemate, in which no advance in an argument is achieved.