game ( games plural )
1 n-count A game is an activity or sport usually involving skill, knowledge, or chance, in which you follow fixed rules and try to win against an opponent or to solve a puzzle.
...the wonderful game of football., ...a playful game of hide-and-seek., ...a video game.
2 n-count A game is one particular occasion on which a game is played.
It was the first game of the season..., He regularly watched our games from the stands..., We won three games against Australia.
3 n-count A game is a part of a match, for example in tennis or bridge, consisting of a fixed number of points.
She won six games to love in the second set., ...the last three points of the second game.
4 n-plural Games are an organized event in which competitions in several sports take place.
...the 2000 Olympic Games at Sydney.
5 n-plural Games are organized sports activities that children do at school.
At his grammar school he is remembered for being bad at games but good in debates.
6 n-sing Someone's game is the degree of skill or the style that they use when playing a particular game.
usu poss N
Once I was through the first set my game picked up.
7 n-count You can describe a situation that you do not treat seriously as a game.
Many people regard life as a game: you win some, you lose some...
8 n-count You can use game to describe a way of behaving in which a person uses a particular plan, usually in order to gain an advantage for himself or herself.
usu with supp
Until now, the Americans have been playing a very delicate political game.
9 n-uncount Wild animals or birds that are hunted for sport and sometimes cooked and eaten are referred to as game.
...men who shot game for food.
10 adj If you are gamefor something, you are willing to do something new, unusual, or risky.
v-link ADJ, oft ADJ to-inf, ADJ for n
After all this time he still had new ideas and was game to try them..., He said he's game for a similar challenge next year.
12 If someone or something gives the game away, they reveal a secret or reveal their feelings, and this puts them at a disadvantage.
give the game away phrase V inflects
The faces of the two conspirators gave the game away.
13 If you are new to a particular game, you have not done a particular activity or been in a particular situation before.
new to a game phrase v-link PHR
Don't forget that she's new to this game and will take a while to complete the task.
14 If you beat someone at their own game, you use the same methods that they have used, but more successfully, so that you gain an advantage over them.
at their own game phrase PHR after v
He must anticipate the maneuvers of the other lawyers and beat them at their own game..., The police knew that to trap the killer they had to play him at his own game.
15 If you say that someone is playing games or playing silly games, you mean that they are not treating a situation seriously and you are annoyed with them.
playing games phrase V inflects (disapproval)
`Don't play games with me' he thundered..., From what I know of him he doesn't play silly games.
16 If you say that someone has raised their game, you mean that they have begun to perform better, usually because they were under pressure to do so.
someone has raised their game phrase
The world No. 9 had to raise his game to see off a strong challenge from Dale..., As it expands its services around the continent, the competition it offers should force the other airlines to raise their game.
17 If you say the game is up, you mean that someone's secret plans or activities have been revealed and therefore must stop because they cannot succeed.
the game is up phrase V inflects Some thought they would hold out until Sunday. The realists knew that the game was already up.
arcade game ( arcade games plural ) An arcade game is a computer game of the type that is often played in amusement arcades. n-count
ball game ( ball games plural ) , ballgame
1 n-count Ball games are games that are played with a ball such as tennis, baseball, and football.
2 n-count A ball game is a baseball match.
I'd still like to go to a ball game.
3 n-sing You can use ball game to describe any situation or activity, especially one that involves competition. (JOURNALISM, SPOKEN)
Two of his biggest competitors are out of the ball game. If you say that a situation is a new ball game, you mean that it is completely different from, or much more difficult than, the previous situation or any situation that you have experienced before.
new ball game phrase
He finds himself faced with a whole new ball game.
Large wild animals such as lions and elephants that are hunted for sport are often referred to as big game. n-uncount
board game ( board games plural ) , board-game A board game is a game such as chess or backgammon, which people play by moving small objects around on a board. n-count
...a new board game played with dice.
card game ( card games plural ) A card game is a game that is played using a set of playing cards. n-count
computer game ( computer games plural ) A computer game is a game that you play on a computer or on a small portable piece of electronic equipment. n-count
confidence game ( confidence games plural ) A confidence game is the same as a confidence trick.
(mainly AM) n-count
If you say that someone is fair game, you mean that it is acceptable to criticize or attack them, usually because of the way that they behave. n-uncount
Politicians were always considered fair game by cartoonists.
game bird ( game birds plural ) Game birds are birds which are shot for food or for sport. n-count usu pl
game park ( game parks plural ) A game park is a large area of land, especially in Africa, where wild animals can live safely. n-count
game plan ( game plans plural ) , game-plan
1 n-count In sport, a team's game plan is their plan for winning a match.
usu poss N
Leeds kept quiet, stuck to their game plan and quietly racked up the points.
2 n-count Someone's game plan is the actions they intend to take and the policies they intend to adopt in order to achieve a particular thing.
oft poss N
If he has a game plan for winning the deal, only he understands it..., He is unlikely to alter his game plan.
game reserve ( game reserves plural ) A game reserve is a large area of land, especially in Africa, where wild animals can live safely. n-count
game show ( game shows plural ) Game shows are television programmes on which people play games in order to win prizes. n-count
Being a good game-show host means getting to know your contestants.
1 n-sing If you say that someone is playing thenumbers game, you think that they are concentrating on the aspects of something which can be expressed in statistics, usually in order to mislead people., (disapproval)
Regrettably, he resorts to the familiar numbers game when he boasts that fewer than 300 state enterprises currently remain in the public sector.
parlour game ( parlour games plural )
in AM, use parlor game A parlour game is a game that is played indoors by families or at parties, for example a guessing game or word game. n-count
power game ( power games plural ) You can refer to a situation in which different people or groups are competing for power as a power game, especially if you disapprove of the methods they are using in order to try to win power. n-count oft adj N
...the dangerous power games in the Kremlin following Stalin's death.
video game ( video games plural ) A video game is a computer game that you play on your television or on a similar device. n-count
waiting game ( waiting games plural ) If you play a waiting game, you deal with a situation by deliberately doing nothing, because you believe you will gain an advantage by acting later, or because you are waiting to see how other people are going to act. n-count usu sing
He's playing a waiting-game. He'll hope to hang on as long as possible until the pressure is off.
war game ( war games plural )
1 n-count War games are military exercises that are carried out for the purpose of training, and that are designed to imitate a real war as closely as possible.
2 n-count A war game is a game in which model soldiers are used to recreate battles that happened in the past. War games can also be played on computers.
If you refer to a situation as a zero-sum game, you mean that if one person gains an advantage from it, someone else involved must suffer an equivalent disadvantage. n-sing
They believe they're playing a zero-sum game, where both must compete for the same paltry resources.