Chess. a position of the pieces in which a player cannot move any piece except the king and cannot move the king without putting it in check.
any position or situation in which no action can be taken or progress made; deadlock: Talks between union and management resulted in a stalemate.
verb (used with object), stalemated, stalemating.
to subject to a stalemate.
to bring to a standstill.
verb (used without object), stalemated, stalemating.
to be or result in a stalemate or standoff: Negotiations stalemated when new salary demands were introduced.

1755–65; late Middle English stale stalemate (whence Anglo-French estale) (apparently special use of stale1) + mate2

unstalemated, adjective

2. impasse, standoff, standstill. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stalemate (ˈsteɪlˌmeɪt)
1.  a chess position in which any of a player's possible moves would place his king in check: in this position the game ends in a draw
2.  a situation in which two opposing forces find that further action is impossible or futile; deadlock
3.  (tr) to subject to a stalemate
[C18: from obsolete stale, from Old French estalstall1 + mate²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1765, in chess, from stale "stalemate" (1425) + mate "checkmate" (see checkmate). M.E. stale is probably from Anglo-Fr. estale "standstill" (see stall (2)). A misnomer, since 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]. Fig sense is recorded from 1885.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The four-month-old uprising remains locked in a stalemate with a government
  that still enjoys support.
Perhaps someone from another discipline will break the stalemate.
The tomb stands as a testament to a living family, separated by history, now
  struggling to resolve its historic stalemate.
The announcement resolved a stalemate that had threatened to cause protests and
  paves the way for a political transformation.
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