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  1. a planned and regulated movement or evolution of troops, warships, etc.
  2. maneuvers, a series of tactical exercises usually carried out in the field by large bodies of troops in simulating the conditions of war.
  3. an act or instance of changing the direction of a moving ship, vehicle, etc., as required.
  4. an adroit move, skillful proceeding, etc., especially as characterized by craftiness; ploy: political maneuvers.
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verb (used with object), ma·neu·vered, ma·neu·ver·ing.
  1. to change the position of (troops, ships, etc.) by a maneuver.
  2. to bring, put, drive, or make by maneuvers: He maneuvered his way into the confidence of the enemy.
  3. to manipulate or manage with skill or adroitness: to maneuver a conversation.
  4. to steer in various directions as required.
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verb (used without object), ma·neu·vered, ma·neu·ver·ing.
  1. to perform a maneuver or maneuvers.
  2. to scheme; intrigue.
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Also especially British, ma·noeu·vre.

Origin of maneuver

1470–80 for an earlier sense; 1750–60 for current noun sense; < French manoeuvre, Middle French manuevre handwork, derivative of Old French manuvrer < Latin manū operāre to do handwork, equivalent to manū (ablative of manus hand) + operāre to work (see operate); replacing earlier maanorre manual labor < Middle French, as above
Related formsma·neu·ver·a·ble, adjectivema·neu·ver·a·bil·i·ty, nounma·neu·ver·er, nounun·ma·neu·vered, adjective

Synonyms for maneuver

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[muh-noo-ver-uh-buh l]
  1. capable of being steered or directed; easy to maneuver: The polyethylene craft remains as durable and maneuverable as any conventional high-performance kayak.
  2. able to maneuver easily: maneuverable troops; I felt extremely maneuverable on these shorter skis.
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Origin of maneuverable

Related formsma·neu·ver·a·bil·i·ty, nounma·neu·ver·a·bly, adverbun·ma·neu·ver·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for maneuverability

flexibility, maneuverability, movability, motility, portability, adjustability

Examples from the Web for maneuverability

Historical Examples of maneuverability

  • Once we were inside, we'd have no maneuverability to speak of.


    James H Schmitz

  • They created drag and affected the maneuverability of the plane.

  • Arcot wanted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ship's armament first, and then the maneuverability.

    Islands of Space

    John W Campbell

British Dictionary definitions for maneuverability


noun, verb
  1. the usual US spelling of manoeuvre
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Derived Formsmaneuverable, adjectivemaneuverability, nounmaneuverer, nounmaneuvering, noun
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 maneuverability


1917, from maneuverable + -ity.

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1913, from maneuver + -able.

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1777, from maneuver (n.), or else from French manœurvrer "work, work with one's hands; carry out, prepare" (12c.), from Medieval Latin manuoperare. Originally in a military sense. Figurative use from 1801. Related: Maneuvered; maneuvering.

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"planned movement of troops or warship," 1758, from French manoeuvre "manipulation, maneuver," from Old French manovre "manual labor" 13c.), from Medieval Latin manuopera (source of Spanish maniobra, Italian manovra), from manuoperare "work with the hands," from Latin manu operari, from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)) + operari "to work, operate" (see operation). The same word had been borrowed from French into Middle English in a sense "hand-labor" (late 15c.). General meaning "artful plan, adroit movement" is from 1774. Related: Maneuvers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

maneuverability in Medicine


  1. A movement or procedure involving skill and dexterity.
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  1. To manipulate into a desired position or toward a predetermined goal.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.