Definition of manoeuvre in English:


(US maneuver)


  • 1A movement or series of moves requiring skill and care.

    ‘snowboarders performed daring manoeuvres on precipitous slopes’
    • ‘Reverse parking into small spaces is also a must as it would not do to keep the purchasers waiting as simple manoeuvres turn into a protracted disaster.’
    • ‘Despite this, Rosenthal completed the bomb run and instigated a series of violent maneuvers to throw the aim of the flak guns.’
    • ‘The probe's launch is the first in a series of critical navigational maneuvers on which the success of the mission depends.’
    • ‘The student then completed a series of maneuvers, including stalls, spins, and lazy eights while gliding back to the practice field.’
    • ‘Disturbances can occur while a fish is at rest, when swimming forwards and backwards, and during maneuvers while moving in either direction.’
    • ‘Attackers employed three maneuvers to generate movement and control.’
    • ‘The skill required in such a manoeuvre is not to be underestimated, especially in a tight skirt and four inch heels.’
    • ‘She put the ship through a series of difficult maneuvers at top speed.’
    • ‘Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the airplane conducting a series of acrobatic maneuvers when the right wing separated from the airplane.’
    • ‘Six participants performed a series of maneuvers using each device.’
    • ‘The majority of these maneuvers require the use of centripetal force to hold both surfer and board in the correct place on the wave.’
    • ‘The best skaters are able to incorporate these maneuvers with extreme moves in a way that flows with intensity.’
    • ‘In short, they've reinvented their companies through a series of innovative maneuvers.’
    • ‘He saw possible moves, manoeuvres, and attacks Alsonte could make, each motion replaying in his mind.’
    • ‘Anyone who examines the route taken by Hanjour will see that it required a complex manoeuvre by an experienced pilot.’
    • ‘Dara twisted her craft into a series of complex maneuvers.’
    • ‘Shawn Michaels combined high-flying maneuvers with solid technical skills.’
    • ‘Somehow, the complex high-speed manoeuvres and fluid movements seem to come naturally to a small child.’
    • ‘The spacecraft drifted about 200 meters away from the stage before starting a series of maneuvers.’
    • ‘Snap competition was a contest between the twelve teams, each headed up by a senior, in which a series of marching maneuvers was carried out.’
    operation, exercise, activity, move, movement, action
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    1. 1.1A carefully planned or cunning scheme or action.
      ‘shady financial manoeuvres’
      • ‘Other financial maneuvers can be made that hurt small unsecured creditors by leaving less money on the table.’
      • ‘He has suggested that such tactical maneuvers could backfire.’
      • ‘Accordingly, it is planning its own free paper as a blocking manoeuvre.’
      • ‘It continuously engaged in petty maneuvers.’
      • ‘Most companies would try to change policies in backdoor maneuvers, often with relative success.’
      • ‘The move was obviously a manoeuvre intended to appease and, perhaps, deceive disaffected members who clamoured for fresh leadership of the party.’
      • ‘I may vote for him purely as a strategic maneuver.’
      • ‘The key decision making and tactical maneuvers take place after the flop.’
      • ‘Even if we do draw the line somewhere and ban certain eugenic manoeuvres, the financial incentive may play a prominent role.’
      • ‘He wrote a book called The Prince in which he described the amoral maneuvers and machinations of men in power.’
      • ‘It would seem a shame to turn down such a cunning manoeuvre without a compelling need.’
      • ‘We talked of many things, fashion, religion, politics, all the while she tried to tempt me with new and suggestive maneuvers.’
      • ‘After a series of convoluted manoeuvres, Ryan was allowed to escape to France, and from there to Nazi Germany.’
      • ‘A reasonable bridge building effort between activists and experts on both sides to try to address the issues through tactical maneuvers might be useful.’
      • ‘They should have performed a variety of dodge maneuvers.’
      • ‘I had situated myself in the far corner of the classroom, a tactical maneuver on my part.’
      • ‘The day of reckoning was postponed by a series of maneuvers, and the banknotes remained intact.’
      • ‘After roll call, she dives straight in with the day's tactical manoeuvres.’
      • ‘Right now, the site's position as king of online toys owes as much to its unbeatable brand and the failures of its competitors as to its strategic maneuvers.’
      • ‘Through a series of legal maneuvers Paul made his case before the Roman Governor and then to the Emperor himself.’
      stratagem, tactic, gambit, ploy, trick, dodge, ruse, plan, scheme, operation, device, plot, machination, artifice, subterfuge, intrigue, manipulation
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    2. 1.2[mass noun]The fact or process of taking carefully planned or cunning action.
      ‘the economic policy provided no room for manoeuvre’
      • ‘There's little room for manoeuvre here, though.’
      • ‘Consumers have borrowed up to the hilt, leaving little room for manoeuvre should times get seriously tough.’
      • ‘As in the US, there is a sense that the central bank's room for manoeuvre on interest rates is narrowing.’
      • ‘And the Christmas launch date appeared to leave the company little room for manoeuvre should anything go wrong.’
      • ‘In such circumstances, there would be some room for manoeuvre on interest rates.’
      • ‘With national budget positions close to balance or in surplus, countries have ample room for manoeuvre to cope with adverse economic developments.’
      • ‘Wingfield is a spacious property that offers plenty of room for manoeuvre, together with the obvious benefits of being in walk-in condition.’
      • ‘There is perilously little room for manoeuvre in the group but the stage is set.’
      • ‘If we wanted to be sure of succeeding with the big ventures, we would have to act rapidly and ensure early on that we had given ourselves enough room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘But when the FBI or customs officers come calling, there is little room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘Burt and his colleagues might have room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘Mitchell felt their ultimatum left Fifa with little room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘The company would not allow room for manoeuvre on anything.’
      • ‘Worse than that, his predecessor had spent all the money, leaving him precious little room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘Again, I cannot interfere in that, but I need to know what they are doing, and I think there is therefore room for manoeuvre in that matter.’
      • ‘This created a little room for manoeuvre and sometimes even allowed limited state welfare measures to be introduced.’
      • ‘‘The majority of costs are wage costs; there is very little room for manoeuvre,’ he said.’
      • ‘‘We seem to be seeing that in practice there is no room for manoeuvre, for negotiation or for real change,’ he said.’
      • ‘Potentially, this imposes a degree of constraint on the party leadership's room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘English football has just about exhausted its room for manoeuvre in the domestic market.’
  • 2A large-scale military exercise of troops, warships, and other forces.

    ‘the Russian vessel was on manoeuvres’
    • ‘These exercises are part of agreements on large military maneuvers involving the United States and the Philippines.’
    • ‘This is a video taken from a U.S. Army helicopter on maneuvers.’
    • ‘Changes in defence housing also reflect changes in the practice of warfare - from large manoeuvres to those involving small highly trained and specialised units.’
    • ‘Navy spokesmen would not comment on whether more maneuvers are planned.’
    • ‘The British Army is conducting military maneuvers on a remote Scottish moor when a fissure suddenly erupts.’
    • ‘This year, for example, the military also plans to hold joint maneuvers with India.’
    • ‘I spent 40 years in the Army, about six of them separated from my family and perhaps a couple more on maneuvers, training exercises and temporary duty.’
    • ‘In 1936, 1,200 men in the Red Army parachuted during manoeuvres near Kiev.’
    • ‘His film is narrowly focused on the scope of tactical military maneuvers.’
    • ‘But its demands for regime change and its military manoeuvres are increasing tensions at the same time.’
    • ‘Some of the payouts were quite clearly linked to accidents that took place during military manoeuvres.’
    • ‘Far too often biographers are obsessed with sex, courtly intrigue, or military manoeuvres.’
    • ‘Colourful uniforms had been replaced by khaki; heroic charges and defences by long-range shelling; and sweeping military manoeuvres by trench warfare.’
    • ‘When we Green Berets were in Alaska on maneuvers for a long time, nothing tasted better than hobo coffee.’
    • ‘However, these men were used to working in small units and large scale manoeuvres were alien not only to them but to the officers in command of them.’
    • ‘The networks have focused on details of tactics, weapons and military manoeuvres.’
    • ‘The squadron went on maneuvers in August 1941 and was at a grass field at Fredericksburg, Virginia.’
    • ‘This year's parade was unique since it involved military manoeuvres for the first time in 17 years.’
    • ‘The agreement ensures the Plain is protected despite increased military manoeuvres.’
    • ‘Their success enabled the Allies to anticipate German military manoeuvres, saving thousands of lives and turning the tide of the war in the North Atlantic.’
    training exercises, exercises, war games, operations
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  • 1Move skilfully or carefully.

    [no object] ‘the lorry was unable to manoeuvre comfortably in the narrow street’
    [with object and adverbial of direction] ‘she tried to manoeuvre her trolley round people’
    • ‘These can range from narrow aisles to inadequate toilet facilities but for William his biggest headache is finding a suitable shopping trolley he can manoeuvre himself.’
    • ‘We maneuvered carefully across the gap in the rigging to cut the remainder of the sail free.’
    • ‘I carefully maneuvered to the right-hand lane and then proceeded onto the shoulder.’
    • ‘When she reached her room, she maneuvered carefully around the contents of her floor and fell onto her bed.’
    • ‘She maneuvered carefully so that she was beneath the liquid.’
    • ‘She was now approaching the bent wreckage of a hatchway door, so she slowed and maneuvered carefully around it.’
    • ‘The steering is light enough for manoeuvring, but maintains enough weight to give reassurance at speed on the open road.’
    • ‘The high pitched whine of the armoured cars as they manoeuvred round the narrow streets filled me with dread.’
    • ‘If there was time we manoeuvred to the outer edge as instructed, knowing that the slightest misjudgement by the driver might easily nudge us over the side.’
    • ‘Carefully, the two maneuvered around the sleeping police chief and went into the office.’
    • ‘Sara had other ideas, however, and extended a leg high into the air to flick it up before manoeuvring to execute an exquisite overhead kick that flew past Francois Dubordeaux into the bottom right corner of his goal.’
    • ‘Then she took a deep breath and carefully began to maneuver through the beams.’
    • ‘The car, which had its lights left on, was parked so close to the traffic lights on The Broadway that cars turning left had to manoeuvre round it.’
    • ‘When that failed, leading firefighter Tom Warnock, who directed the operation, got the rescue boat to manoeuvre closer in the hope of shocking her into moving out of the silt.’
    • ‘From only a glimpse of its silhouetted form he spotted a barred owl, then carefully maneuvered for a closer view.’
    • ‘It took a couple of spins around Marble Arch and a brief stop in Belgrave Square to phone my brother for directions before I finally managed to manoeuvre onto Kensington Road.’
    • ‘The strain, as a punter tries to manoeuvre a fully laden trolley around the end of an aisle is just colossal.’
    • ‘A special tube is inserted into the patient's leg or arm and carefully manoeuvred to the artery needing attention.’
    • ‘Rose awoke to the usual sounds of cars manoeuvring down the road, children playing in the park across the road and the chatting of women on the pavement below.’
    • ‘The tiny cars were essential to the film's plot and proved to be the perfect getaway vehicles to manoeuvre in and out of tight spots and weave through seemingly impenetrable pathways.’
    steer, guide, drive, negotiate, navigate, pilot, direct, manipulate, move, work, jockey
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  • 2[with object and adverbial] Carefully guide or manipulate (someone or something) in order to achieve an end.

    ‘they were manoeuvring him into betraying his friend’
    • ‘They are forever busy manipulating and maneuvering situations to their advantage.’
    • ‘Along the way he's manoeuvred a group of marginal seat holders into more powerful positions.’
    • ‘In response, she sought to manoeuvre his own people ahead of his supporters in the lists.’
    intrigue, plot, scheme, plan, lay plans, conspire, pull strings
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    1. 2.1[no object]Manipulate a situation to achieve an end.
      [with infinitive] ‘Rann was manoeuvring to elope with the girl’
      • ‘As interest groups stepped up their lobbying, the political parties continued maneuvering in advance of a potential Senate vote to bar the filibusters.’
      • ‘In an attempt to remedy this situation over the past decade the United States, Britain and France have each manoeuvred to gain greater influence on the continent.’
      • ‘A party which is willing to sacrifice any or all of its policy preferences will have more room to manoeuvre than a competitor who gets stuck on a principle.’
      • ‘No wonder the pre-election atmosphere can now be felt, particularly because the political elite have started maneuvering to serve their own and their groups' interests.’
      • ‘The ruling class may jettison figureheads who have served their interests for years, but they organise and manoeuvre to ensure their rule is restabilised.’
      • ‘We have no confidence in its leaders, who've manipulated and maneuvered against our civic initiate for years.’
      • ‘By 1987 it was clear that the grieving period was over as politicians manoeuvred for supremacy.’
      • ‘They see politics as people making deals, people maneuvering for advantage, people acting.’
      • ‘And now we have this situation where you have these various religious factions, these other people who are maneuvering for position now.’
      • ‘What can we expect from the conservatives in this configuration of great potential power combined with extremely narrow room to manoeuvre?’
      • ‘To develop success achieved in an offensive one has to maneuver so that to build up efforts in the main sector.’
      • ‘In other words, Bulgaria will again have to diplomatically maneuver and make its choice in a vulnerable situation.’
      manipulate, contrive, manage, engineer, devise, plan, plot, fix, organize, arrange, set up, orchestrate, choreograph, stage-manage
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Mid 18th century (as a noun in the sense ‘tactical movement’): from French manœuvre (noun), manœuvrer (verb), from medieval Latin manuoperare from Latin manus hand + operari to work.