Definition of game in English:



  • 1A form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.

    • ‘It's no secret that much of the game of water polo revolves around the center position.’
    • ‘So if you learn a simple tactic it can help with bigger games like netball and basketball and stuff.’
    • ‘It is knowledge of the rules of the game, or knowledge that certain moves that accord with these rules have been made.’
    • ‘You are invited to join in the fun of organising dances, publicity, events, games, competitions and much more.’
    • ‘Soccer is a winter game, Gaelic football and hurling are summer games.’
    • ‘Those ancient games were real games in which athletes competed for glory and not for money.’
    • ‘They feel that for the good of the game and the competition they need to allow the holder to defend the title.’
    • ‘A fierce game of beach volley ball had erupted into play between two groups of girls.’
    • ‘The sports complex will have facilities for indoor games including badminton, billiards, and table tennis.’
    • ‘For the most part, hockey is truly a team game in a sports world that sells individuals.’
    • ‘Buddhists celebrate the New Year in March or April with coconut games and pillow fights.’
    • ‘If soccer is not your cup of tea, you can switch to the more genteel game of tennis.’
    • ‘Rugby enthusiasts gave up on the sport after the game was dragged in the mud.’
    • ‘As with all sports, the game has followed a natural progression throughout history.’
    • ‘The sides will meet in a friendly game at the Lakeside Sport and Fitness Club on Saturday.’
    • ‘It's vital that the game evolves to compete with other sports, and these ideas are great.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, the house teams competed in friendly rivalry games of cricket, football and volleyball.’
    • ‘I didn't do too badly following the game and the rules, thanks mostly to my experience playing softball.’
    • ‘The guy also is the best blocking receiver in the game and is as competitive as they come.’
    • ‘Personally, do you believe that the third umpire concept is workable in a fast game like hockey?’
    match, contest, tournament, meeting, sports meeting, meet, event, athletic event, fixture, tie, cup tie, test match, final, cup final, play-off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A complete episode or period of play, typically ending in a definite result.
      ‘a baseball game’
      • ‘Amazingly there were to be only two further scores in the final period of the game.’
      • ‘We are expecting a very good game this weekend and we are confident of positive results after the game.’
      • ‘The final game of this series will be played in Birmingham on the December 13.’
      • ‘He was scratched for the final six games of the conference finals.’
      • ‘The umpires were called upon to judge on the fitness of the wicket for play and ruled the game could go ahead.’
      • ‘They overcame a six and a half-game margin in the final 13 games to pass Philadelphia.’
      • ‘They lost six of their final 10 games and then fell to New Orleans in the playoffs.’
      • ‘His downfall in the second game came as a result of a half drive with the foot not up to the pitch of the ball.’
      • ‘When he cleaned up in the final innings of the game, he was fully vindicated.’
      • ‘The percentage of postseason games in football is notably lower than in other sports.’
      • ‘In the Winter Olympics many ice hockey games were decided by numerical advantages.’
      • ‘The unusual setting and unconventional rules meant the game attracted lots of spectators.’
      • ‘We will just try our hardest and concentrate on our final few games to get the results we need.’
      • ‘The team didn't play to lose its final games of the season so it could get a higher draft pick.’
      • ‘Last year, he missed the final six games after he fractured his left fibula.’
      • ‘The team must gain some momentum going into the final six games, four of which are at home.’
      • ‘Six of their final seven games are inside a dome, making winter weather a non-issue.’
      • ‘The final game against York was a clogged up battle with both sides showing fatigue.’
      • ‘The goal is to get familiar with protecting a lead in the final minutes of a game.’
      • ‘There'll be gripping and competitive games of play-off football going on all over Europe next weekend.’
    2. 1.2A single portion of play forming a scoring unit in a match, especially in tennis.
      • ‘Each match consists of four games with the points total going towards each team's score.’
      • ‘We squeezed all of our remaining 18 games of match play into Wednesday, the day after the attacks.’
      • ‘Sutton's Dave and Julie were the best couple in both matches winning 27 games in each fixture.’
      • ‘In the final game at match point, he played a super shot to save point.’
      • ‘The Swiss calmly wrapped up the victory on the first of three match points a game later.’
      • ‘The eighth seed broke him in the third game of the match and from then on broke serve at will.’
    3. 1.3Bridge A score of 100 points for tricks bid and made (the best of three games constituting a rubber)
      • ‘A side which has already won one game towards the current rubber is said to be vulnerable.’
      • ‘A game may be made in more than one deal, such as by scoring 60 and later 40, or it may be scored by making a larger bid and earning 100 or more points in a single deal.’
    4. 1.4A person's performance in a game; a person's standard or method of play.
      ‘he will attempt to raise his game to another level’
      • ‘Teams will raise their games and we are expected to go through the season unbeaten but we have confidence in the squad.’
      • ‘Not one to stand still, he is determined to raise his game to a new level.’
      • ‘We've proved we can win games, it's a case now of making sure we raise our game and get quality performances when we need them.’
      • ‘Outstanding performer though he was beforehand, he raised his game after turning 30.’
      • ‘I used to be dragged along in his wake, his excellence raising my game, forcing me to operate at a higher level too.’
      • ‘It raises their game and to perform with someone of his standing is just amazing.’
      • ‘Duncan has stepped up his game to a new level and is a model of consistency for the rest of the league.’
      • ‘Town raised their game after the try, but were unable to convert pressure into points.’
      • ‘But she dished out a lesson or two in the art of raising the level of her game under pressure.’
      • ‘It needs everyone to be at the top of their game, everyone to perform to their level.’
      • ‘Rivals would be pushed to raise their own games, to achieve new standards.’
      • ‘I hope that his strike partner and understudies take their game to the next level.’
      • ‘He said with a second title under his belt in two months, he would now take his game to higher levels possible.’
      • ‘This Indian team has several batsmen who can raise their game to attain this level.’
      • ‘Worryingly, I could identify a few traits I'd normally associate more with my own tennis game.’
      • ‘It was the measure of a team and driver at the absolute top of their game and setting new standards that the rest have yet to match.’
      • ‘Can the other teams raise their games enough to counterbalance that potential falloff?’
    5. 1.5A meeting for sporting contests, especially track and field.
      ‘the Olympic Games’
      • ‘A spinner who has been performing honestly in these games has been him.’
      • ‘But she became the first Asian sprinter to win a gold medal in those collegiate athletic games.’
      • ‘Granagh Youth Club hope to be involved in a number of events in the county games competitions.’
      • ‘He likened the Iraqi team to the East Timorese athletes at the Sydney games.’
      • ‘This time fingers are crossed that Catherine will do it all again in table tennis at the 2003 games.’
      • ‘Afghanistan has also conducted its first games for disabled athletes, in Kabul.’
      • ‘I guessed that the boss was a sports fan and wished the same success for the restaurant as these athletes had at the games.’
      • ‘At the games, athletes will be expected to maintain good behaviour and observe a code of conduct.’
      • ‘Having said that, the Olympics were considered the cleanest of the athletic games.’
      • ‘It is unfortunate because the track is quite different and that may affect their performance during the games.’
      • ‘During the games, athletes will live on university campuses in and around Dublin.’
      • ‘In the list of great athletes who never competed in the games, he would be right there at the top.’
      • ‘Plato, for example, thought that training athletes for the games was of little relevance for the real world of fighting.’
      • ‘Rowing is the largest sport at the games with around 900 competitors.’
      • ‘Some will simply enjoy the games as a sporting event.’
      • ‘In 14 World Cup games in five previous tournaments Korea had not won a match.’
      • ‘It was the first time in the history of the games that an individual athlete had been mentioned in the closing speech.’
      • ‘She believed his decision to debar the Filipino athletes from the games was premature.’
      • ‘The games are the final event for the current and very successful Academy program.’
      • ‘In true British fashion we won just three gold medals at the games, the worst performance by a host country in modern Olympic history.’
    6. 1.6British Sports and athletic activities as organized in a school.
      • ‘The sound of a typical high school games lesson vibrates beneath us, but our gaze is fixed for two, maybe three minutes.’
      • ‘He said had been at his games lesson for only 15 minutes when the headteacher took him to his office, where police were called.’
      • ‘Children with autism and Asperger's syndrome tend to be clumsy and to struggle with games lessons at school.’
      • ‘We take them to their games, lessons, etc. but how much do we really interact with them?’
      • ‘After the class she left with a girl friend and was on her way to a games lesson when the boy and one of his friends joined them.’
      • ‘He would not have done so had he not discovered this talent in our games lesson.’
    7. 1.7The equipment for a game, especially a board game or a computer game.
      • ‘I went out to Electronic Arts in Burnaby where a friend works and took advantage of his employee discount to buy some games for my dad.’
      • ‘She wasn't up to date on any of the systems and her parents don't let her buy Mature rated games anyway.’
      • ‘I could buy two games for my PS1 for the price of one game on the N64.’
      • ‘Gradually I bought a few more games and even managed to meet a few other players.’
      • ‘I decided to let the pros handle it and I'll forgo buying any new games for a couple of months.’
      • ‘One child wrote to say he would never buy a new game without asking his friends for their views on it.’
      • ‘Many now include editing software with their games, specifically to encourage fans to shoot movies.’
      • ‘In other words, people aren't buying as many games right now.’
      • ‘The children say they have enjoyed the rewards of their efforts, having used the profits to buy games for the classroom and finance a trip to New Lanark.’
      • ‘You still need to go out to the store and buy the game - or order it online and wait a few days for it to show up.’
      • ‘They bullied their way into my apartment, uploaded the game onto my computer and demanded that I give it a try.’
      • ‘This might be a game bought for kids, but you get the feeling that it is their parents who will be playing it most keenly.’
      • ‘So they buy the games for their kids without realizing what they're getting.’
      • ‘What's the betting that many of them are adults buying the game for their kids?’
      • ‘The item I actually went to the shop to buy was a game called ‘Medal of Honour’ for my PC.’
      • ‘Monopoly is Hasbro's largest selling board game with 1.5m games sold per year.’
      • ‘The money was to purchase equipment for the club, including computers, games, furniture and arts and crafts materials.’
      • ‘The games software alone has an equivalent retail value of £120,000.’
      • ‘The First Amendment does not force parents into buying these games and systems for their children.’
      • ‘Christmas is coming and the latest games are bringing computers to their knees.’
  • 2A type of activity or business, especially when regarded as a game.

    ‘this was a game of shuttle diplomacy at which I had become adept’
    • ‘We are new to this game of bidding for sports events, and haven't hosted many.’
    • ‘Now I'm frequently told that championing manufacturing is yesterday's game.’
    • ‘They will start playing a whole new game when you're saying those things as a Senator.’
    • ‘At first it was just a game - buying notional shares and sitting on them.’
    • ‘Trade and economic growth are positive-sum games, in which there can be winners without losers.’
    • ‘She is more interested in playing some silly political game than she is about the extra tax that will be imposed.’
    • ‘The state can hire in expertise to play the private sector's game, but this simply adds to the expense.’
    • ‘The main thing coming into the professional game is that I didn't know where to work or what they were expecting from me.’
    • ‘Now, in the fame game that is modern cooking, Novelli already has a keen advantage.’
    • ‘It often seems to be about performance, parliamentary games and all that type of nonsense.’
    • ‘Readers might think that only the biggest Indian companies can get into the global takeover game.’
    • ‘Amiable careerists who can avoid making enemies have a definite leg up in this game.’
    1. 2.1A secret and clever plan or trick.
      ‘I was on to his little game, but I didn't want him to know’
      • ‘He's a pawn in his game, a partner turned prey who has just one day to pick up the street smarts that will get him through.’
      • ‘One who thinks or says otherwise indulges in the game of double standards.’
      • ‘The intent of the film, however, is not to play clever, reflexive narrative games.’
      • ‘This is a very dangerous game because who is to say he will not call their bluff?’
      • ‘We can do this, and if we wanted to stigmatize each other, we can all play this game.’
      • ‘This was the first move in a complicated and clever double game to return to power.’
      • ‘I don't plan on playing silly name games with those who plan on regulating speech for our own good.’
      • ‘She was playing into his game and the plan was supposed to be that he played into hers.’
      • ‘If you want to play this game until you come across some hard evidence, that's up to you.’
      • ‘This is all down to the secret game of politics they are playing.’
      • ‘Surely the hunt organisers are not stupid enough to believe that their little game was going to continue forever.’
      • ‘She is deliciously evil as she plots and schemes her power games.’
      • ‘They're playing a very clever game and that's why we can't see properly what's going on.’
      • ‘The governing party, the BJP, has played an apparently clever game in getting to where it is.’
      • ‘Robertson, soulless puppetmaster that he is, says that the plans are just games.’
      • ‘Our game of secret messages is a little one-sided as his referrals don't seem to work properly.’
      scheme, plot, ploy, stratagem, strategy, gambit, cunning plan, master plan, grand design, crafty designs, tactics
      View synonyms
  • 3Wild mammals or birds hunted for sport or food.

    • ‘They were very much plant eaters, hunting live game for either the sport or the bones to construct their settlements.’
    • ‘Wildflowers are gathered for decoration, fur is worn for its warmth and game is hunted because it tastes good.’
    • ‘At least a dozen groups of hunters shoot game in this part of the Eastern Rhodopes every year.’
    • ‘Sporting shooting of game or clays is a legal pastime enjoyed by many people of all ages and from all social backgrounds.’
    • ‘Home of the Bushmen, the arid reaches of the Kalahari has some spectacularly wild and remote game viewing areas.’
    • ‘It comes on a long rod that a hunter pushes into the ground to hold the bow while the hunter waits for game.’
    • ‘Using gas, smoke, poison or other stupefying substances in hunting game is also banned.’
    • ‘The Zambian national parks are considered to have the largest concentration of game in the world.’
    • ‘Nick did not bring extra food because he expected to catch fish or hunt game, but was unsuccessful.’
    • ‘They admitted being in a danger area and hunting game without permission.’
    • ‘The browns and tans and whites of poised game can blend with the background foliage.’
    • ‘Slow of foot, but agile of mind, how did he catch the speedy antelope and other game which provided him with his protein?’
    • ‘There is also evidence in relation to the edges of the lake, evidence of hunting for native game.’
    • ‘If we had nothing from the night before, I'd set off with the crossbow and go hunting small game.’
    • ‘Blunt cone shaped arrow heads made of bone have been found at other sites that were intended to stun or kill small game or birds.’
    • ‘They ate all their fish and then realized that was it for the day unless they were willing to hunt game.’
    • ‘Forests were also the home to more animal life, in the form of wild game, than could be found as domesticated livestock.’
    • ‘I trotted slowly through the hunting grounds of our pack and looked for sign of game.’
    • ‘In this way, balance between the numbers of hunters and of game was preserved through the ages.’
    • ‘This bill would not affect the ability of a person to operate a feeder for purposes other than hunting game.’
    1. 3.1The flesh of mammals or birds, used as food.
      • ‘Its flavour goes particularly well with saline flavours: ham, pork, sausages and game.’
      • ‘For my ingredients I get my fish from the market at North Shields or up at Amble, and my meat and game locally.’
      • ‘In addition to cultivated products, the farmer gathered other food from the wild such as fruits, fish, and game.’
      • ‘The warning comes after reports of anonymous individuals selling meat and game from vehicles across the county.’
      • ‘The Old Inn at Gairloch is famous for its seafood and game but it is worth holding back to enjoy pudding.’
      • ‘Anyone who can tell you how long to hang game, or any meat, unless you are using a butcher's chiller, is either a liar or a prophet.’
      • ‘They can be magnificent with joints of lamb and beef or game but to be honest, a big plate of pasta is a more common sight on my dinner plate.’
      • ‘The seafood and game are excellent, and the staff insist on knowing what you plan to prepare and giving advice.’
      • ‘We have not yet taken up the gun but we do have a taste for fresh, wild game, and there is plenty of access to it here.’
      • ‘The rest of the carcass can be used to make some game stock for gravy or soup, or freeze the carcass to use later.’
      • ‘Foods to avoid include red meat, particularly game, offal, beef, pork and lamb.’
      • ‘The main courses are great for those who enjoy a heady selection of game and meat.’
      • ‘We have undoubtedly the best beef in the world, our seafood is unbeatable, as are our game, lamb and wild mushrooms.’
      • ‘The menu is strong on game and meat dishes, with some interesting savoury ice-cream accompaniments.’
      • ‘This course could also be game, such as pheasant, wild goat, duck or partridge.’
      • ‘Serfs produced their own wine, ate wild game, raised pigs and chickens, and eked out seasonal vegetables.’
      • ‘He insists that all the meat is Scottish and the seafood, game, fruit and vegetables are local and delivered each day.’
      • ‘Whisky, seafood, poultry, game and confectionery remain our most popular exports.’
      • ‘Served in a sauce with beef, game or shellfish, it can lift the flavour perfectly.’
      • ‘Earlier news reports said the waitress worked in a restaurant that served wild game.’
      wild animals, wild fowl, big game
      View synonyms


  • Eager and willing to do something new or challenging.

    ‘they were game for anything after the traumas of Monday’
    • ‘Saturday's match saw a good turnout of players eager to get game time prior to the league season.’
    • ‘He was quite game about the issue, and mostly gave straight answers.’
    • ‘If you want others to be game, you've got to also be game yourself once in a while.’
    • ‘Game for a laugh is Denis, but I digress.’
    brave, courageous, valiant, plucky, bold, intrepid, stout-hearted, lionhearted, unafraid, daring, dashing, spirited, mettlesome
    willing, favourably inclined, prepared, disposed, in the mood, of a mind, desirous, eager, keen, interested, enthusiastic, ready
    View synonyms


  • 1[with object] Manipulate (a situation), typically in a way that is unfair or unscrupulous.

    ‘it was very easy for a few big companies to game the system’
    ‘politicians blamed electricity generators for gaming the market’
    • ‘The President got gamed by bad information again as that person told Him what he wants to hear.’
    • ‘But the truth is, the doc and foreign process has been a problem and has been gamed by the players for years.’
    • ‘We're trying to take a scalpel and carve out this very small percentage of the people that are gaming the system.’
    • ‘But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system.’
    • ‘It's a result of speculators who gamed the system, regulators who looked the other way, lobbyists who bought their way into our government.’
    • ‘Otherwise candidates and parties would constantly game the system and change the rules, undermining the legitimacy of every election.’
    • ‘Even if they do use some fancy mathematical model to value different mortgages, those in Wall Street have long made money by gaming against these models.’
    • ‘It's the result of speculators who gamed the system, regulators who looked the other way, lobbyists who bought their way into our government.’
    • ‘Today's scandals, however, indicate that too many public corporations have been gaming the disclosure system, either subtly or brazenly.’
    • ‘But it's fun to hear developers talking about gaming the market as an enriching experience.’
    • ‘The Colonel s own assessment, made after gaming all the potentialities, is that a strike on Bushehr and associated targets is almost unavoidable.’
    • ‘I think they said it was $500 or $600 we were all paying because people were gaming in the bankruptcy system.’
    • ‘The problem is, such systems can be gamed.’
    • ‘Earlier this week FERC sent letters to more than 120 California energy producers ordering them to "admit or deny" that they gamed the market.’
    • ‘That company is a case in point, where they create a "market failure" by gaming the system in their favor.’
    • ‘He was gaming the Time magazine most influential person poll.’
    • ‘Either solution fails if I'm unscrupulous, and willing to take personal risk by gaming the system.’
    • ‘Any manager interested in genuine progress, therefore, monitors the numbers carefully and looks for signs that the system is being gamed.’
    • ‘Wealth has gamed the system.’
    • ‘Military analysts have gamed it out.’
  • 2[no object] Play video or computer games.

    ‘the majority of the audience are teens who game and watch anime’
    • ‘Is the idea of computer gaming tailored to young women fundamentally flawed, or are people just not doing it right?’
    • ‘The multiplayer mobile gaming service will initially include two games.’
    • ‘Has there been a big enough paradigm shift in our culture to create a change in gaming?’
    • ‘Nintendo has been around longer than video gaming and it most likely will stay that way forever.’
    • ‘Snooker is a bit of a niche market when it comes to console gaming.’
    • ‘You get to feed your computer gaming addiction, plus hang out with your crew.’
    • ‘Contemporary interests include the phenomenon of fan culture and video gaming.’
    • ‘Dundee and Los Angeles are not easily confused, but one thing they have in common is excellence in computer gaming.’
    • ‘The constant tension in the game is unlike any other experience in gaming today.’
    • ‘It's a technological marvel and will give computer gaming a whole new meaning.’
    • ‘While in high school and college I played the game regularly and, in the groups I gamed with, I often won; certainly well above the statistical expectations for the game.’
    • ‘Does your gender, in your opinion, affect how you relate to computer gaming?’
    • ‘Eight artists celebrate the digital playground of games, sounds and the aesthetics of computer gaming.’
    • ‘It's best to warn you that you can only play this if you're serious about gaming.’
  • 3[no object] Play games of chance for money; gamble.

    ‘other Russians gamed at the tables in Monte Carlo’
    • ‘That's not dealt with anywhere in any gaming agreement in Canada and that's where we have to lead.’
    • ‘Canada is an important market for the poker group but there are doubts about if the firm's gaming licence is legitimate.’
    • ‘The changes will not yet impact on Northern Ireland gaming laws that still ban casinos.’
    • ‘When the first gaming casino was established on a reserve, a SWAT team took the chief away in chains.’
    • ‘Building can only begin once the government relaxes gaming laws, which is expected to happen early next year.’
    • ‘It pleased me to see the diehard's still gaming the next day, at the same table as I had left them the night before.’
    • ‘All in all, the indications are that the research might tell us something about how the brain behaves when gaming.’
    • ‘Now it is home to the main shopping mall and gaming rooms of the Casino complex.’
    • ‘Watch out for high rollers from the US gaming industry heading for Europe.’
    • ‘The War Games group gamed the war-plan of the opposing side in order to try out unexpected moves.’
    • ‘Is it a product of the game, or is it a personality type that is predisposed to gaming?’
    • ‘New gaming laws could also allow bingo clubs to offer other services, such as horse race betting and fruit machines.’
    • ‘Down below, the regular punters swarm around hundreds of baize gaming tables.’
    gamble, bet, place bets, lay bets, wager, stake money
    have a flutter, punt
    View synonyms


  • ahead of the game

    • Ahead of one's competitors or peers in the same sphere of activity.

      • ‘Ideally, the audit should be a continuing process to ensure that the practice stays ahead of the game.’
      • ‘When you're competing with the world's biggest CPU manufacturer, you have to move fast to stay ahead of the game.’
      • ‘The innovation could be seen as a way to stay ahead of the game.’
      • ‘Mercedes has sought to stay ahead of the game by adorning its latest little beauty with as many technological improvements as possible.’
      • ‘Architects cannot help influencing each other: the trick is to stay ahead of the game.’
      • ‘In warfare, as in nature, you have to evolve to stay ahead of the game.’
      • ‘The opportunities do exist out there and a key factor is to stay ahead of the game.’
      • ‘Newspapers like Scotland on Sunday are only too aware of how hard it is to stay ahead of the game in an increasingly competitive market.’
      • ‘Australia of course has long been ahead of the game in its research into its migration policy.’
      • ‘You can either enlist the services of a communications group who are committed to staying years ahead of the game, or you can sell up now and cut your losses.’
  • at the top of one's game

    • informal At the height of one's powers.

      ‘this film is the work of a director at the top of his game’
      • ‘He's still at the top of his game.’
      • ‘Barnes has created a collection of acute observations which shows him to be at the top of his game.’
      • ‘Coming into the second season, everyone is really at the top of their game.’
      • ‘Strive to be at the top of your game, despite the hurdles.’
      • ‘Murder By Death is a prime example of Simon at the top of his game.’
      • ‘All in all a very satisfying live recording of a band at the top of their game.’
      • ‘Now aged 57, Sir Alan is still at the top of his game with a global empire worth £ 700m.’
      • ‘You both were at the top of your game.’
      • ‘On the acting front, we have three top actors working at the top of their game.’
      • ‘Each work represents its composer at the top of his game.’
    • informal

      see top
  • beat someone at their own game

    • Use someone's own methods to outdo them in their chosen activity.

      • ‘They need to be reminded we had eight long years of their rhetoric and we are now beating them at their own game.’
      • ‘He felt he had to beat them at their own game, and threw himself into his work.’
      • ‘Some of his fellow activists are less than sanguine about the shift from a strategy of opposing corporations to one of beating them at their own game.’
      • ‘Shopkeepers that want to beat Tesco at their own game need to have a strong competitive advantage.’
      • ‘Young stockbrokers from a York school will be going up against professionals to try and beat them at their own game.’
      • ‘Passionate, uninhibited and a bit weird, football fans everywhere from Scotland to Argentina knew exactly what he was saying: that there is no pleasure as sweet as beating England at their own game.’
      • ‘For the European riders, the grass is their forte, and to be able to compete with them and beat them at their own game is very satisfying.’
      • ‘This and many other books and newspaper and magazine articles recommended that European industry and commerce should learn from the methods of the Americans and try to beat them at their own game.’
      • ‘There is a certain pleasure in beating them at their own game, which very nearly matches a shopping buzz.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Pixar not only beats them at their own game, but also sidesteps the idea that the central competition is visual by centering its latest film on wonderful characters and a meaningful plot.’
  • game over

    • informal Said when a situation is regarded as hopeless or irreversible.

      • ‘If New Zealand cross the gain-line, it is normally game over.’
      • ‘Once the mohawk starts receding and the bullet belt has to be let out a couple more notches, things rapidly approach game over.’
      • ‘I was also still growing at that time and if my weight had gone crazy then it would have been game over, but my weight stayed low and I just decided to kick on again.’
      • ‘It was game over for him, and he walked away with an annoyed look.’
      • ‘If he wins his first Daytona 500, it will be game over for his competitors.’
      • ‘Like a great closer in baseball, he hits a back double-biceps pose, and it's game over.’
      • ‘If they are able to properly cross-exam, as he clearly is, it's not game over.’
      • ‘It was effectively game over, as unfortunately from his point of view it was all too evident they were running on empty.’
      • ‘In normal racing circumstances it would be game over.’
      • ‘‘If I had scored that chance a minute after my goal, it would have been game over,’ he said.’
  • make (a) game of

    • archaic Mock; taunt.

      • ‘If you act like that around him, he'll make a game of it rather than take you seriously.’
      • ‘‘You shouldn't make a game of these people who suffer for their families,’ a Carrolton senior said.’
      • ‘As the sick, demented and twisted ex-girlfriend, I'm always labeled ‘the bad one,’ but you've gone your entire career making a game of women and we're always considered the bad ones.’
      • ‘Refusing to conflate his body at war with the nation's power, the aristocrat makes a game of war and flaunts his skill in order to accentuate the carelessness with which he abandons one theater to act in another.’
      • ‘He spends his life in chaffing and making game of his fellow-men.’
  • make a game of it

    • Make a contest more closely competitive.

      • ‘They'll be happy to come to Tolka Park for a draw, so it's up to us to make a game of it and knock in a couple of goals.’
      • ‘You have to question the spirit of a side that makes a game of it in the first twenty minutes, despite conceding a soft goal at the start, and then falls apart.’
      • ‘The Carlow side tried hard to make a game of it and they tried to make things happen with their wing play.’
      • ‘A missed conversion made the score 14-5, and Aberdeen appeared keen to make a game of it.’
      • ‘Berwick Rangers kept themselves in fourth place with a 2-1 triumph over rock-bottom Albion Rovers, who at least should be praised for making a game of it.’
  • off (or on) one's game

    • Playing badly (or well)

      • ‘Owen, 21, a former Bury Boys' champion from Breightmet, had already played in a couple of Tamsel Tour events this season, conceded that he was not on his game.’
      • ‘The crew chief needs to make sure he is on his game.’
      • ‘He can steal a playoff series if he's on his game, but the Lightning never is sure what it is going to get from him.’
      • ‘There times when you get scared, but that keeps you on your game.’
      • ‘On nights when the Kings are on their game, the talk of how the NBA has become hard to watch should be muted.’
      • ‘When he's on his game, he can play most pucks without flinching.’
      • ‘They can take bad penalties and, despite their excellent penalty killing, get off their game.’
      • ‘‘We had too many players off their game at the same time against him,’ he said.’
      • ‘When he was on his game, he was a tremendous offensive talent.’
      • ‘There isn't room for that, and you have to be on your game at all times.’
  • the only game in town

    • informal The best, the most important, or the only thing worth considering.

      • ‘In a sense it more or less constitutes, as far as public sphere activity is concerned, the only game in town.’
      • ‘Broadcasting was the only game in town for distributing electronic media to large audiences - no Internet, no cable, no satellites, home video or DVDs.’
      • ‘Where television is concerned, comedy seems to be the only game in town.’
      • ‘In many communities, small businesses are the only game in town.’
      • ‘Obviously it's easier to make money when you are the only game in town.’
      • ‘I think they took the attitude that they were the only game in town and you had to play by their rules.’
      • ‘Drumheads made of animal skins were the only game in town from cave-man times until the 1950s, when synthetic drumheads were first introduced.’
      • ‘But if yours is one of the 100 million homes in Europe to which MTV is distributed today, you will know that it is no longer the only game in town.’
      • ‘This has happened already, where farmers' markets, once the only game in town, now face competition from better farmers' markets and shops.’
      • ‘Since coming to power, he has relied on the media to present him as a great and popular leader, and to proclaim his anti-welfare measures and pro-business politics as the only game in town.’
  • play the game

    • Behave in a fair or honorable way; abide by the rules or conventions.

      • ‘The foundation of a democratic system is playing the game by the rules.’
      • ‘He behaved and played the game in the correct spirit and led by example.’
      • ‘St Johnstone are paying the price, it appears, for not playing the game.’
      • ‘I would just like to be remembered as someone who played the game, and played fair.’
      • ‘It has been my belief that you play the game according to the rules even as you work to change them.’
      • ‘The rules are being rewritten while people are still playing the game.’
      • ‘In short they made it clear to journalists that they either played the game according to Labour rules or they had no future as a political reporter.’
      • ‘In their slavish desire to appear ‘fair and balanced’ the media plays the game for wingnuts by giving their talking points equal weight when there is no factual basis for them whatsoever.’
      • ‘But this will only work to discredit someone if the media plays the game.’
      • ‘I am guilty of getting my hopes up when somebody plays the game with a little more class and independence than usual.’
      play fair, be fair, play by the rules, abide by the rules, follow the rules, conform, be a good sport, toe the line, keep in step
      View synonyms
    • see game
      play fair, be fair, play by the rules, abide by the rules, follow the rules, conform, be a good sport, toe the line, keep in step
      View synonyms
  • play games

    • Deal with someone or something in a way that lacks due seriousness or respect.

      ‘Don't play games with me!’
      • ‘It is also clear that she did play games - a good deal of trickery was employed.’
      • ‘He said the teen was not playing games with the court and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.’
      • ‘When the legislature laughs at him and starts playing games, he's not going to get it.’
      • ‘Basically, he said, he was playing games, and fooling himself more than anyone else.’
      • ‘After another thwarted attempt at discourse, she finally snaps that he can't keep playing games with her.’
      • ‘You would think he'd have learned by this age that Olive is just playing games with his heart.’
      • ‘It seems that they're still only playing games with you, but trust me there's more at stake than you know.’
      • ‘None of us on this side of the House plays games when we are presented with serious propositions to defend the national interest.’
      • ‘I got the feeling that some of them were playing games with us.’
      • ‘They are the ones who are in the business of playing games and showing off.’


Old English gamen amusement, fun gamenian play, amuse oneself of Germanic origin.