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checkered (adj) full of changes; having a pattern of two different colors.
When a person's career is not all success, and not all failures, but some periods of success followed by others of failures, their career is checkered. When a country's history is checkered, it is full of changing periods, some of peace, and others of war. The history of most of Asian and African countries, after the end of colonial rule, has been checkered. That is, they have had periods of political unrest, followed by short intervals of peace and stability. Having a pattern of different colored squares is also being checkered. For example, a checkered tie is a tie with squares of different colors. The chessboard is checkered with squares of black and white.
- Pakistan has had a checkered history with brief spells of democracy alternating with long periods of military dictatorship, and so has had Afghanistan with the country constantly troubled by different foreigner-supported groups ruling the country, depriving it of stability.
- Checkered flags are waved when, in a car race, the cars turn a bend, or when the winning car reaches the finish.