[ bringk-muh n-ship ]
/ ˈbrɪŋk mənˌʃɪp /


the technique or practice of maneuvering a dangerous situation to the limits of tolerance or safety in order to secure the greatest advantage, especially by creating diplomatic crises.

Nearby words

  1. bringing-up,
  2. brinjal,
  3. brink,
  4. brinkley,
  5. brinkman,
  6. brinksmanship,
  7. brinnin,
  8. brinny,
  9. brinton,
  10. briny

Also brinks·man·ship [bringks-muh n-ship] /ˈbrɪŋks mənˌʃɪp/.

Origin of brinkmanship

1955–60; brink + -manship, with brink(s)- by analogy with sportsmanship, etc. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brinkmanship

British Dictionary definitions for brinkmanship


/ (ˈbrɪŋkmənˌʃɪp) /


the art or practice of pressing a dangerous situation, esp in international affairs, to the limit of safety and peace in order to win an advantage from a threatening or tenacious foe
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

Word Origin and History for brinkmanship


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for brinkmanship


The policy of a nation that pushes a dangerous situation to the limits of safety (the “brink”) before pulling back; an aggressive and adventurous foreign policy.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.