Definition of draughts in English:



  • A board game for two players, played on a draughtboard. Each player starts with twelve disc-shaped pieces in three rows along one side of the board, and moves them diagonally with the aim of capturing all the opponent's pieces.

    • ‘The highlights will, as always, be the athletics finals but Carlow will also be hoping for gold in draughts, Olympic handball and indoor soccer events with six teams competing.’
    • ‘Badminton, soccer, volleyball, basketball, draughts, table tennis, art and make and model are planned.’
    • ‘Once they'd finished their game of draughts, Jude and Josie began a game of cards.’
    • ‘They played chess faster than we play draughts.’
    • ‘Of course there nothing stopping mum and dad enjoying the challenge of draughts, snakes and ladders or constructing a Duplo design.’
    • ‘They played all sorts of games: cards, draughts, and even charades.’
    • ‘Sometimes, he'd set up a game of draughts for them to play and Jude was able to take his turn by feeling around the board for the pawns and deciding his moves.’
    • ‘To be less abstract, let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings, and where, of course, no oversight is to be expected.’
    • ‘This is the Community Games main fundraiser and you are asked to support… The teams are now picked for badminton, basketball, chess, indoor soccer, draughts and table tennis.’
    • ‘If they get bored, the shed boasts a CD player, dart board and draughts.’
    • ‘The Pub Challenge uses traditional and popular pub games such as darts, dominoes, draughts and Connect Four, and its organisers Pubmaster say it aims to promote a community spirit in its hostelries.’
    • ‘This game is superior in complexity to English draughts by virtue of the fact that it is played on a board ten squares by ten squares and that capturing moves have an extended scope.’


Late Middle English: from draught; related to obsolete draught in the sense ‘move’ (in chess or any similar game); compare with French trait, from Latin tractus a dragging.