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waiting game

a stratagem in which action on a matter is reserved for or postponed to a later time, allowing one to wait for a more advantageous time to act or to see what develops in the meantime.
Origin of waiting game
First recorded in 1885-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for waiting game
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Sir Donald's conscience is not clear as to this waiting game.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • There's no game in the world like it—the waiting game, I mean.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting
  • They had grown too wary, and now preferred to play a waiting game.

    Vice Versa F. Anstey
  • They will play a waiting game, and in the end make a surprise attack.

    A Mating in the Wilds Ottwell Binns
  • It was a waiting game, and whichever waited the longer was bound to win.

  • I knew better than that, and I played what is technically known as a waiting game.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • Theirs is a waiting game for the present, and they are passing the time as best they can.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
British Dictionary definitions for waiting game

waiting game

the postponement of action or decision in order to gain the advantage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with waiting game

waiting game

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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