One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A device, action, or opening remark, typically one entailing a degree of risk, that is calculated to gain an advantage.‘his resignation was a tactical gambit’
advantage, upper hand, edge, lead, whip hand, trump cardplan, scheme, strategy, stratagem, measure, technique, proposal, step, action, act, manoeuvreView synonyms
- ‘I can't usefully compare future possibilities to current capabilities, but I've noticed patterns in the conversational gambits used in such discussions.’
- ‘There are special gambits for nearly all situations.’
- ‘Almost certainly there are other gambits in preparation to be used against us.’
- ‘The prosecution made a similar gambit, less before the jury - because the facts were on its side - than to the public at large.’
- ‘The loser of this copycat election will lament all the strategic gambits that fell short in the end.’
- ‘Through these gambits, business commentators challenge the very concept of innovation.’
- ‘Parody-accusation is all well and good, but the gambit is becoming so commonplace I fear for the very future of vitriolic anti-feminist commentary.’
- ‘He analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and armies, the tactical gambits that had won nations and lost empires.’
- ‘The success of these gambits rests on convincing lawmakers and federal regulators that the pension is too sick to save.’
- ‘He employs the lame gambit of saying that he doesn't need to answer them because they ‘have been conclusively refuted.’’
- ‘He also gave it an incredibly small number of conversational gambits.’
- ‘The Australians believe it is a psychological gambit to use and gain advantage over the opposition.’
- ‘Assign your staff to build the sort of book on Russert's techniques, rhetorical gambits, and political obsessions that you'd want going into a debate with an opposing candidate.’
- ‘The point, though, is that the gambit, which is ubiquitous in the public sphere, is inherently political, engages in hidden rhetorical work.’
- ‘Few comedic gambits are more likely to guarantee disaster than impressions of heavily accented family members, territory that he wisely steered clear of.’
- ‘Despite being out of office, he persisted in his meddlesome diplomatic gambits with his friends in Germany.’
- ‘One of his favourite gambits on the stump is: ‘I used to be a prizewinning actor.’’
- ‘After all, he relies on a similar gambit in his story ‘Miracle in a Bottle’ to gauge the popularity of the diet drug Zantrex.’
- ‘In a casting gambit that doubled as a publicity stunt he sent his assistants into rural schoolhouses to audition tens of thousands of thirteen-year-old girls.’
- ‘You are invited to contribute some gambits of your own.’
- 1.1 (in chess) an opening in which a player makes a sacrifice, typically of a pawn, for the sake of some compensating advantage.
stratagem, machination, scheme, plan, tactic, manoeuvre, move, course of action, line of action, device, operationView synonyms
- ‘By the time I was an ‘A’ player, gambits including the Smith-Morra were fully appreciated.’
- ‘True fans of the gambit should consider this a challenge.’
- ‘This book is geared toward the average player, but there is no discussion of gambit tries by white.’
- ‘The problem is with the get-rich-quick mentality that underlies many players’ use of gambits.’
- ‘It's easy to recommend this book as essential material for those involved with this gambit on either side of the board.’
Mid 17th century: originally gambett, from Italian gambetto, literally ‘tripping up’, from gamba ‘leg’.
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