Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb 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.
  • transitive verb To defeat completely.
  • noun A move in chess that checkmates an opponent's king.
  • noun The position or condition of a checkmated king.
  • noun An utter defeat.
  • interjection Used to declare the checkmate of an opponent's king in chess.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In chess, originally, an exclamatory sentence, literally, ′ the king is dead′ : said of the opponent's king when he is in check, and cannot be released from it; hence, the position of being unable to escape from a check.
  • noun Hence Figuratively, defeat; overthrow.
  • In chess, to put in check (an opponent's king), so that he cannot be released. See checkmate, n., 1.
  • Figuratively, to defeat; thwart; frustrate; baffle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The position in the game of chess when a king is in check and cannot be released, -- which ends the game.
  • noun A complete check; utter defeat or overthrow.
  • transitive verb (Chess) To check (an adversary's king) in such a manner that escape in impossible; to defeat (an adversary) by putting his king in check from which there is no escape.
  • transitive verb To defeat completely; to terminate; to thwart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection chess Word called out by the victor when making the conclusive move.
  • noun The conclusive victory in a game of chess that occurs when an opponent's king is threatened with unavoidable capture.
  • noun figuratively, by extension Any situation that has no obvious escape and involves some personal loss.
  • verb transitive, chess To put the king of an opponent into checkmate.
  • verb transitive, by extension To lead to a situation that has no obvious escape without some personal loss.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb place an opponent's king under an attack from which it cannot escape and thus ending the game
  • noun a chess move constituting an inescapable and indefensible attack on the opponent's king
  • noun complete victory

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[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).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English chekmat, from Old French eschec mat, from Persian شاه مات (shah mat), the king is ambushed or the king is conquered

Examples

Comments

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  • Persian phrase "Shah Mat", which means "the king is dead".

    May 7, 2008