A situation in a chess game in which a player is forced to make an undesirable or disadvantageous move.
In figurative uses.
Origin of zugzwang
- German Zugzwang Zug pull, move (from Middle High German zuc pull) (from Old High German) (from ziohan to pull deuk- in Indo-European roots) Zwang compulsion (from Middle High German twanc) (from Old High German)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition