Etymology
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stalemate (n.)

1765, in chess, from stale "stalemate" (early 15c.) + mate (n.2) "checkmate." Middle English stale is probably from Anglo-French estale "standstill" (see stall (n.2)). A misnomer, because a stale is not a mate. "In England from the 17th c. to the beginning of the 19th c. the player who received stalemate won the game" [OED]. Figurative sense is recorded from 1885. As a verb from 1765; figurative from 1861.

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Definitions of stalemate
1
stalemate (n.)
a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible;
stalemate (n.)
drawing position in chess: any of a player's possible moves would place his king in check;
2
stalemate (v.)
subject to a stalemate;
From wordnet.princeton.edu