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stale +‎ mate



stalemate (plural stalemates)

  1. (chess) The state in which the player to move is not in check but has no legal moves, resulting in a draw.
  2. (by extension) Any situation that has no obvious possible movement, but involves no personal loss.
    • 2020 September 8, Jeffrey Gettleman, “Shots Fired Along India-China Border for First Time in Years”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Indian military analysts said the situation was heading into a dangerous stalemate. Neither side wants to start a war. But neither side wants to back down either.
  3. Any kind of match in which neither contestant laid claim to victory; a draw.

Related terms[edit]



stalemate (third-person singular simple present stalemates, present participle stalemating, simple past and past participle stalemated)

  1. (chess, transitive) To bring about a state in which the player to move is not in check but has no legal moves.
  2. (transitive, figurative) To bring about a stalemate, in which no advance in an argument is achieved.
    • 29 February 2012, Aidan Foster-Carter, BBC News North Korea: The denuclearisation dance resumes[2]
      The North Korean nuclear issue, stalemated for the past three years, is now back in play again - not before time.

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