Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1700-1800
Origin: stale 'stalemate' (15-18 centuries) (from Old French estal; STALE) + mate ( MATE23)

stalemate

noun
     
stale‧mate [uncountable and countable]
1 a situation in which it seems impossible to settle an argument or disagreement, and neither side can get an advantage [= deadlock]:
The discussions with the miners' union ended in stalemate.
2 a position in chess in which neither player can win
stalemate verb [transitive]

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