Checkmate is a chess move that makes it impossible for your opponent to win. A checkmate can also be any kind of clear victory.

In chess, a checkmate is a move that leaves your opponent with no more options: there is no move that won't result in you getting their king and therefore ending the game. Since a checkmate is so final, the word is used for other kinds of final victories. In basketball, a three-point shot that seals a win could be called a checkmate. In politics, a speech that wins votes and wraps up an election could be called a checkmate.

Definitions of checkmate

n a chess move constituting an inescapable and indefensible attack on the opponent's king

Type of:
chess move
the act of moving a chess piece

n complete victory

Type of:
triumph, victory
a successful ending of a struggle or contest

v place an opponent's king under an attack from which it cannot escape and thus ending the game

“Kasparov checkmated his opponent after only a few moves”
Type of:
beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

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