a check from which a king cannot escape.
∎ [as interj.]
(by a player) announcing that the opponent's king is in such a position.
a final defeat or deadlock.
v. [tr.] Chess
put into checkmate.
defeat or frustrate totally.
Ballet in 1 act by Bliss
to his own lib., choreog. N. de Valois
. Prod. by SW co., Paris
1937; then over 100 perfs. in Britain
; as Suite, NY 1939.
•flatmate • classmate • checkmate
•helpmate • messmate • playmate
•stalemate • stablemate • teammate
•inmate • shipmate • acclimate
•sublimate • animate • decimate
, guesstimate, underestimate
•intimate • primate • housemate
•soulmate • schoolmate • room-mate
•consummate • amalgamate
•diplomate • automate • glutamate
in chess, a position in which a player's king is directly attacked by an opponent's piece or pawn and has no possible move to escape the check. The attacking player thus wins the game.
Recorded from Middle English, the term comes from Old French eschec mat
, from Arabic šāh mā
, from Persian šāh māt
‘the king is dead’.
(chess) the move which puts the king into inextricable check. XIV. Aphetic — OF. eschec mat
— Pers. šāh māt
the king is dead; see CHECK 1
Hence as vb. XIV.