name of the game, the

The crux of the matter; also, the main goal. For example, Getting them to admit they're wrong—that's the name of the game, or Parents don't approve of a coach who insists that winning any way one can is the name of the game. This rhyming idiom uses name in the sense of “identity.” [Mid-1900s]


Nearby words

  1. name after,
  2. name day,
  3. name is mud, one's,
  4. name names,
  5. name of the game,
  6. name part,
  7. name syndrome,
  8. name tape,
  9. name the day,
  10. name-brand

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