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beat someone at his or her own game

Surpass someone in his or her own specialty or undertaking. For example, Jean knew that if she matched the new store's discount she would keep all her customers and beat the new competitors at their own game. The use of game for any kind of undertaking or scheme dates from the mid-1200s.

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