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EtymologyEdit

From end +‎ game.

NounEdit

endgame (plural endgames)

  1. (chess) The final stage of a game of chess, when there are few pieces left. [1884]
    • 1884 April 12, Horwitz, The Academy, p. 256:
      The real end game consists of a position where the method can be analytically demonstrated by which the slightly superior force can win.
    Rooks become much more important in the endgame.
  2. (bridge) The final stage of a game of bridge, when there are few cards left.
    • 1952, Iain Macleod, Bridge Is an Easy Game, p. 190:
      Bridge writing tends to concentrate on the end game.
    You can't really use squeeze plays until the endgame.
  3. (figuratively) The final stage of an extended process or course of events, especially with the implication of the imminent realization of a masterful strategy or plan.
    • 2015, Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins, →ISBN, page 138:
      He had been a Commando during the war, had landed on Sword Beach and skirmished his way across the ravaged remains of Europe after D-Day before slogging out the endgame, attached to the 63rd Anti-Tank Regiment.
    • 2019 April 25, Heather Schwedel, "The Myth of the Endgame" in Slate:
      Like optics, it’s one of those buzzwords, beloved by pundits, that implies its users are smarter than everyone else, because they see another level that most people don’t in political machinations. In meme parlance, you may ask “Why?” but ah, an intellectual asks, “What’s the endgame?”
    What's her endgame, do you think?

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