1. a method of tiring out a boxing opponent by pretending to be trapped on the ropes while the opponent expends energy on punches that are blocked
  2. (as modifier)rope-a-dope strategy

Word Origin for rope-a-dope

C20: coined by Muhammad Ali
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

Examples from the Web for rope-a-dope

Contemporary Examples of rope-a-dope

  • It was painful to take it, and we knew we would be criticized, but it was our version of the rope-a-dope.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Day in the Life of The Roots' Questlove

    Marlow Stern

    December 9, 2011

  • Imagine a boxer who deployed a rope-a-dope strategy but spent the entire fight taking punch after punch on the ropes.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Next Budget Deal Cave-In

    Eric Alterman

    April 13, 2011

  • He describes a strategy he uses where he lets his opponent win a few undeserving rounds, similar to a rope-a-dope in boxing.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Poker Club Tells All

    Randall Lane

    December 8, 2010