mid-13c., "game of chess (or checkers);" c.1300, "a chessboard, board with 64 squares for playing chess or similar games; a set of chessmen" a shortening of Old French eschequier "chessboard; a game of chess," from Medieval Latin scaccarium (see check (n.)).
Meaning "pattern of squares" is late 14c. Meaning "a man or marker in the game of checkers" is from 1864. British prefers chequer. From late 14c. as "a checked design." The word had earlier senses of "table covered with checked cloth for counting" (late 12c. in Anglo-Latin), a sense also in Old French (see checker (n.2)).
"table covered with a checked cloth," specialized sense of checker (n.1), late 14c. (in Anglo-Latin from c.1300); especially a table for counting money or keeping accounts (revenue reckoned with counters); later extended to "the fiscal department of the English Crown; the Exchequer (mid-14c.; in Anglo-Latin from late 12c.).
c.1500, spelling variant of draught (q.v.) to reflect change in pronunciation. Among the senses that have gone with this form of the word in American English, the meaning "rough copy of a writing" (something "drawn") is attested from 14c.; that of "preliminary sketch from which a final copy is made" is from 1520s; that of "flow of a current of air" is from c.1770. Of beer from the 1830s, in reference to the method of "drawing" it from the cask. Sense in bank draft is from 1745. The meaning "a drawing off a group for special duty" is from 1703, in U.S. especially of military service; the verb in this sense first recorded 1714. Related: Drafted; drafting.
A measured portion of a liquid or aerosol medication; a dose.
A preliminary version of a book, speech, essay, or outline.
A system for selecting young men for compulsory military service, administered in the United States by the Selective Service System. At present the United States relies on a volunteer military and does not have a draft, though young men are required by law to register with the Selective Service. (See also conscientious objector and draft dodger.)
To drive close behind a vehicle so as to be drawn by reduced air pressure: The point person takes on the wind, allowing those behind him to draft and save as much as 20% of their energy (1970s+ Car racing)Related Terms