Definition of opening gambit in English:

opening gambit


  • An introductory remark or stratagem, especially one designed to make social contact or secure one's own position.

    • ‘This opening gambit allows the authors to suggest that the literature in this area is scant and that there are many unanswered questions.’
    • ‘I notice that her opening gambit to me included no actual question or conversation starter and I was forced to dig myself out of the hole she had dug for me.’
    • ‘We exchanged the usual opening gambits of conversation and I ventured that she looked as if she had been working in her garden.’
    • ‘The unusual opening gambit of making friends by passing toilet paper notes under a toilet partition had paid dividends for Ian.’
    • ‘This looks like an opening gambit rather than a take it or leave it offer.’
    • ‘I rephrased my opening gambit into the more succinct, ‘Why not?’’
    • ‘This is not a good opening gambit if you're selling artificial insemination, but then that's the other thing about the country: they don't get their own innate, rude, mechanical, comic irony.’
    • ‘It's a terrific opening gambit - the sound effects as the cannonballs rip through the boat bring home the frailty of their ship and the audience is fully alert from that point on.’
    • ‘Traditionally, courts have preferred to view an advertisement as an opening gambit in future negotiations for two reasons.’
    • ‘It was the opening gambit of what is likely to become a frenzy.’
    • ‘A long term critic of the practical working of the Belfast Agreement, he outlines what the opening gambit of unionist negotiators should be.’
    • ‘His opening gambit was that it would improve the patient's healthcare by allowing more time in consultations.’
    • ‘Note how his opening gambit and his disclaimers would still make acceptable introductory tactics today, especially when coming from a respected scholar in the field.’
    • ‘It was just a thought - pretty unprocessed, an opening gambit for discussion.’
    • ‘I captured the pawn offered in his opening gambit.’
    • ‘It has, of course, been thoroughly modernized; all the adventure has been taken out of it; but the opening gambits in which a piece used to be sacrificed for the sake of early development proved unsound and therefore abandoned.’
    • ‘I think the BPA, as a leadership, is now moving on, but its opening gambit must have been, ‘We are doing this out of a necessity that the organisation is not listening to us and is mistreating us and is not representing us properly’.’
    • ‘It's an unusual opening gambit at what is supposed to be a formal interview.’
    • ‘More aggressive and driven, they now bore down on goal with more intent than they had mustered in the opening gambits.’
    • ‘I don't think any of us really thought we were going to get 40 per cent, but that was an opening gambit and it was a negotiable figure.’
    advantage, upper hand, edge, lead, whip hand, trump card
    View synonyms