View synonyms for game



[ geym ]


  1. an amusement or pastime:

    children's games.

  2. the material or equipment used in playing certain games:

    The store started selling toys and games.

  3. a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators:

    Flag football is a game growing in popularity.

    Synonyms: competition, contest, sport

  4. a single occasion of such an activity, or a definite portion of one:

    the final game of the season;

    a rubber of three games at bridge.

  5. the number of points required to win a game.
  6. the score at a particular stage in a game:

    With five minutes to play, the game was 7 to 0.

  7. a particular manner or style of playing a game:

    Her game of chess is improving.

  8. anything resembling a game, as in requiring skill, endurance, or adherence to rules:

    She's an expert at the game of diplomacy.

  9. a trick or strategy:

    They can see through your game.

    Synonyms: artifice, scheme, plot, plan, stratagem

  10. something treated lightly or lacking in seriousness; sport:

    That's enough of your games!

    When I was young, love was just a game to me.

  11. wild animals, including birds and fishes, such as those hunted for food or taken for sport or profit:

    The area is particularly rich in game.

    Synonyms: quarry, prey

  12. the flesh of such wild animals, used as food:

    The cook made a dish of game.

  13. any object of pursuit, attack, abuse, etc.:

    The new boy at school seemed to be fair game for practical jokers.

    Synonyms: quarry, prey

  14. Informal. a business or profession:

    He's in the real-estate game.

  15. Informal. the ability to attract or charm romantic or sexual partners:

    He's got no game—hasn't had a date in months.

  16. Archaic. fighting spirit; pluck.


, gam·er, gam·est.
  1. relating to or composed of animals hunted or taken as game, or to their flesh.
  2. having a fighting spirit; plucky.

    Synonyms: fearless, dauntless, intrepid, bold, brave

  3. Informal. having the required spirit or will (often followed by for or an infinitive):

    Who's game for a hike through the woods?

verb (used without object)

, gamed, gam·ing.
  1. to play games of chance for stakes; gamble.
  2. Digital Technology. to play computer or video games.

verb (used with object)

, gamed, gam·ing.
  1. to squander in games of chance (usually followed by away ).
  2. to manipulate to one's advantage, especially by trickery; attempt to take advantage of:

    The policy is flawed and many people try to game the system.



[ geym ]


  1. a game leg.



/ ɡeɪm /


  1. an amusement or pastime; diversion
  2. a contest with rules, the result being determined by skill, strength, or chance
  3. a single period of play in such a contest, sport, etc
  4. the score needed to win a contest
  5. a single contest in a series; match
  6. plural; often capital an event consisting of various sporting contests, esp in athletics

    Highland Games

    Olympic Games

  7. equipment needed for playing certain games
  8. short for computer game
  9. style or ability in playing a game

    he is a keen player but his game is not good

  10. a scheme, proceeding, etc, practised like a game

    the game of politics

  11. an activity undertaken in a spirit of levity; joke

    marriage is just a game to him

    1. wild animals, including birds and fish, hunted for sport, food, or profit
    2. ( as modifier )

      game laws

  12. the flesh of such animals, used as food: generally taken not to include fish
  13. an object of pursuit; quarry; prey (esp in the phrase fair game )
  14. informal.
    work or occupation
  15. informal.
    a trick, strategy, or device

    I can see through your little game

  16. obsolete.
    pluck or courage; bravery
  17. slang.
    prostitution (esp in the phrase on the game )
  18. give the game away
    to reveal one's intentions or a secret
  19. make game of or make a game of
    to make fun of; ridicule; mock
  20. off one's game
    playing badly
  21. on one's game
    playing well
  22. play the game
    to behave fairly or in accordance with rules
  23. the game is up
    there is no longer a chance of success


  1. informal.
    full of fighting spirit; plucky; brave
  2. game as Ned Kelly or as game as Ned Kelly informal.
    extremely brave; indomitable
  3. informal.
    usually foll by for prepared or ready; willing

    I'm game for a try


  1. intr to play games of chance for money, stakes, etc; gamble



/ ɡeɪm /


  1. a less common word for lame 1

    game leg

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgameˌlike, adjective

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Other Words From

  • game·less adjective
  • game·like adjective
  • game·ness noun
  • un·game·like adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of game1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English noun game, gam, gamme “joy; pleasure; sport; hunting,” Old English gaman, gomen; cognate with Old High German gaman “glee”

Origin of game2

First recorded in 1775–85; origin uncertain

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Word History and Origins

Origin of game1

Old English gamen; related to Old Norse gaman, Old High German gaman amusement

Origin of game2

C18: probably from Irish cam crooked

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. die game,
    1. to die after a brave struggle.
    2. to remain steadfast or in good spirits at the moment of defeat:

      He knew that as a candidate he didn't have a chance in the world, but he campaigned anyway and died game.

  2. make game of, to make fun of; ridicule:

    It's cruel to make game of the weak and defenseless.

  3. off one’s game,
    1. Sports. playing badly:

      You can tell the pitcher's off his game—he's walked three batters in a row.

    2. not performing as well as usual:

      The showrunner and her writers are off their game, and episodes this season drag on without the humor and lightness fans had come to expect.

  4. on one’s game,
    1. Sports. playing well:

      You need to recruit experienced players who will be on their game coming straight off the bench.

    2. performing well, or as well as usual:

      She’s been noticeably sharper and really on her game since she came back from vacation.

  5. play games, to act in an evasive, deceitful, manipulative, or trifling manner in dealing with others:

    Don't play games with me—I want to know if you love me or not!

  6. play the game, Informal.
    1. to act or play in accordance with the rules.
    2. to act honorably or justly:

      We naively assumed that our allies would continue to play the game.

  7. talk a big / good game, to make exaggerated claims or promise extraordinary results:

    The PR team talks a big game, but revenue for their department has been flat for three years running.

More idioms and phrases containing game

  • ahead of the game
  • at this stage (of the game)
  • badger game
  • beat someone at his or her own game
  • call someone's bluff (game)
  • confidence game
  • end game
  • fair game
  • fun and games
  • give away (the game)
  • losing battle (game)
  • name of the game
  • only game in town
  • play a waiting game
  • play games
  • play the game
  • waiting game
  • whole new ball game

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Synonym Study

See play.

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Example Sentences

Still, the game of chicken between Pelosi and moderate Democrats is striking.

The output of a restaurant cannot be defined in numbers or data like a game.

From Eater

“We’re using this as an opportunity to really understand our game at a higher level,” McCutchen said.

Hahn’s comments — and his later apology — affirmed the idea that politics was seeping into the work of health officials who are supposed to be above playing that game.

When you write him off as being past his prime, he might just respond with a game like Sunday’s vintage performance — 364 yards, 73 percent of passes completed, four touchdowns and zero interceptions — against the Minnesota Vikings.

This is going to be the Game of Thrones of U.S. Senate races.

Dora is seen getting dressed as a mermaid by a cursor being manned by some omniscient game player.

Think of it as Game of Thrones—if you subtract the sex and violence and add drunken revelry and singing.

Actually, the guessing game is over; the weddings have begun, as have weird attempts to circumvent our constitutional democracy.

When the game starts, there is only sand, a white ball, a flag indicating hole 1, and a “0” at the top of the screen.

And to tell the truth, she couldn't help wishing he could see, so he could make the game livelier.

Jean clung to his English nurse, who played the fascinating game of pretending to eat his hand.

Two many-branched candelabra, holding wax lights, brilliantly illuminate the game.

The unhappy applicant was naturally obliged to temporarily retire from the game, at all events for that night.

His head fell back limp on MacRae's arm, and the rest of the message went with the game old Dutchman across the big divide.


Related Words

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More About Game

What does game mean?

A game is an activity for amusement, particularly with rules that guide the action, like musical chairs.

A game is also the materials needed to play certain games, such as a checkerboard and disks for playing checkers.

A game is also a competitive activity, like football, or a single occasion of the activity.

To game is to play computer or video games or to gamble.

To game is used figuratively to mean to cheat or manipulate to one’s advantage.

Example: I have never been to a game that was this slow and boring.

Where does game come from?

The first records of the term game come from before the year 1000. It ultimately comes from Old English gaman and thought to be related to Old High German, meaning “glee.” While not every game is fun, the goal is usually amusement.

Game is most often used to refer to an activity meant to be entertaining. Related senses include “number of points to win a game,” “the score at a particular point in the game,” and “a particular style of playing a game.”

Informally, game can refer to a required spirit for an activity, as in Who’s game for trying the new Indian restaurant? Informally, it can also refer to a business or profession, as in The dictionary game is a lot of fun if you love words!

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to game

  • gameless (adjective)
  • gamelike (adjective)
  • gameness (noun)
  • ungamelike (adjective)

What are some synonyms for game?

What are some words that share a root or word element with game

What are some words that often get used in discussing game?

How is game used in real life?

Games are supposed to inspire amusement, but games can be taken very seriously.



Try using game!

Is game used correctly in the following sentence?

Deb’s game is to convince Ron that he is a good painter, even though he’s not.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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