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game definition

Overview

This page has 50 definitions of game with English translations in 5 languages. Game is a noun, an adjective and verb. Examples of how to use game in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English game definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English game, gamen, gammen, from Old English gamen (sport, joy, mirth, pastime, game, amusement, pleasure), from Proto-West Germanic *gaman, from Proto-Germanic *gamaną (amusement, pleasure, game", literally "participation, communion, people together), from *ga- (collective prefix) + *mann- (man); or alternatively from *ga- + a root from Proto-Indo-European *men- (to think, have in mind).

Cognate with Old Frisian game, gome (joy, amusement, entertainment), Middle High German gamen (joy, amusement, fun, pleasure), Swedish gamman (mirth, rejoicing, merriment), Icelandic gaman (fun). Related to gammon, gamble.

Noun

game (countable and uncountable, plural games)

  1. A playful or competitive activity.
    1. A playful activity that may be unstructured; an amusement or pastime.
      Synonyms: amusement, diversion, entertainment, festivity, frolic, fun, gaiety, gambol, lark, merriment, merrymaking, pastime, play, prank, recreation, sport, spree
      Antonyms: drudgery, work, toil
      Being a child is all fun and games.
    2. (countable) An activity described by a set of rules, especially for the purpose of entertainment, often competitive or having an explicit goal.
      Synonyms: see Thesaurus:game
      • 1983, Lawrence Lasker & al., WarGames:
        Joshua: Shall we play a game?
        David: ... Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War?
        Joshua: Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?
        David: Later. Let's play Global Thermonuclear War.
        Joshua: Fine.
      • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 37:
        From time to time, track-suited boys ran past them, with all the deadly purpose and humourless concentration of those who enjoyed Games.
      Games in the classroom can make learning fun.
    3. (countable) A particular instance of playing a game.
      Synonym: match
      Sally won the game.
      They can turn the game around in the second half.
      • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter I, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803:
        “I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.
    4. That which is gained, such as the stake in a game.
    5. The number of points necessary to win a game.
      In short whist, five points are game.
    6. (card games) In some games, a point awarded to the player whose cards add up to the largest sum.
    7. (countable) The equipment that enables such activity, particularly as packaged under a title.
      Some of the games in the closet we have on the computer as well.
    8. One's manner, style, or performance in playing a game.
      Study can help your game of chess.
      Hit the gym if you want to toughen up your game.
      • 1951, J. D. Salinger, chapter 11, in The Catcher in the Rye, Little, Brown and Company, OCLC 287628:
        I played golf with her that same afternoon. She lost eight balls, I remember. Eight. I had a terrible time getting her to at least open her eyes when she took a swing at the ball. I improved her game immensely, though.
    9. (obsolete, uncountable) An amorous dalliance.
  2. (countable) Ellipsis of video game.
    • 2019 May 8, Jon Bailes, “Save yourself! The video games casting us as helpless children”, in The Guardian[1]:
      There’s a sense here, as well as in games such as Limbo, that we’re making ourselves experience our children’s reality, trapped in the chaos that the adults have created.
  3. (countable, informal, nearly always singular) A field of gainful activity, as an industry or profession.
    Synonym: line
    When it comes to making sales, John is the best in the game.
    He's in the securities game somehow.
  4. (countable, figuratively) Something that resembles a game with rules, despite not being designed.
    In the game of life, you may find yourself playing the waiting game far too often.
  5. (countable, military) An exercise simulating warfare, whether computerized or involving human participants.
    Synonym: wargame
  6. (uncountable) Wild animals hunted for food.
    The forest has plenty of game.
  7. (uncountable, informal, used mostly of males) The ability to seduce someone, usually by strategy.
    He didn't get anywhere with her because he had no game.
    • 1998, “She's Strange”, performed by Nate Dogg:
      She's strange, so strange, but I didn't complain / She said yes to me when I ran my game
  8. (uncountable, slang) Mastery; the ability to excel at something.
    • 1998, “He Got Game”, performed by Public Enemy:
      What is game? Who got game? / Where's the game in life, behind the game behind the game / I got game, she's got game / We got game, they got game, he got game
    • 2005, Kermit Ernest Campbell, Gettin' Our Groove on: Rhetoric, Language, and Literacy for the Hip Hop Generation, →ISBN, page 123:
      In the contemporary arts of the academic contact zone, I say African American students got game!
    • 2009, Michael Marshall, Bad Things, →ISBN, page 24:
      My dad had game at that kind of thing, and I spent long periods as a child watching him.
  9. (countable) A questionable or unethical practice in pursuit of a goal.
    Synonyms: scheme, racket
    You want to borrow my credit card for a week? What's your game?
    • 1845, Blackwood Magazine:
      Your murderous game is nearly up.
    • 1902, George Saintsbury, Dryden, page 182:
      It was obviously Lord Macaulay's game to blacken the greatest literary champion of the cause he had set himself to attack.
Derived terms
Descendants
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective

game (comparative gamer, superlative gamest)

  1. (colloquial) Willing to participate.
    Synonyms: sporting, willing, daring, disposed, favorable, nervy, courageous, valiant
    Antonyms: cautious, disinclined
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 36, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 180:
      " [] But what’s this long face about, Mr. Starbuck; wilt thou not chase the white whale? art not game for Moby Dick?”
    • 2016 February 23, Robbie Collin, “Grimsby review: ' Sacha Baron Cohen's vital, venomous action movie'”, in The Daily Telegraph (London):
      Some of Grimsby’s other (extraordinarily up-to-date) targets include Donald Trump and Daniel Radcliffe, whose fates here are too breath-catchingly cruel to spoil, and also the admirably game Strong, whose character is beset by a constant stream of humiliations that hit with the force of a jet of…well, you’ll see.
  2. (of an animal) That shows a tendency to continue to fight against another animal, despite being wounded, often severely.
  3. Persistent, especially in senses similar to the above.
Translations

Verb

game (third-person singular simple present games, present participle gaming, simple past and past participle gamed)

  1. (intransitive) To gamble.
  2. (intransitive) To play card games, board games, or video games.
  3. (transitive) To exploit loopholes in a system or bureaucracy in a way which defeats or nullifies the spirit of the rules in effect, usually to obtain a result which otherwise would be unobtainable.
    We'll bury them in paperwork, and game the system.
    • 2012 August 31, Amanda Holpuch, “Trolls game Taylor Swift competition in favor of school for the hearing impaired”, in The Guardian[2]:
      A large batch of online trolls have gamed a web contest that promises a Taylor Swift performance at any school in the US. The target? Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
    • 2020 February 6, Alex Hern, quoting Natalie Hitchins, “Amazon Choice label is being 'gamed to promote poor products'”, in The Guardian[3]:
      “Amazon risks betraying the trust millions of customers place in the Amazon’s Choice badge by allowing its endorsement to be all too easily gamed,” said Which?’s Natalie Hitchins.
  4. (transitive, seduction community, slang, of males) To perform premeditated seduction strategy.
    • 2005 October 6, “Picking up the pieces”, in The Economist[4]:
      Returning briefly to his journalistic persona to interview Britney Spears, he finds himself gaming her, and she gives him her phone number.
    • 2010, Mystery, The Pickup Artist: The New and Improved Art of Seduction, Villard Books, →ISBN, page 100:
      A business associate of mine at the time, George Wu, sat across the way, gaming a stripper the way I taught him.
    • 2010 July 9, Sheila McClear, “Would you date a pickup artist?”, in New York Post[5]:
      How did Amanda know she wasn’t getting gamed? Well, she didn’t. “I would wonder, ‘Is he saying stuff to other girls that he says to me?’ We did everything we could to cut it off [] yet we somehow couldn’t.”
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Adjective

game (comparative more game, superlative most game)

  1. Injured, lame (of a limb).
    • around 1900, O. Henry, Lost on Dress Parade
      You come with me and we'll have a cozy dinner and a pleasant talk together, and by that time your game ankle will carry you home very nicely, I am sure."

See also

Anagrams


Dutch game definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Borrowed from English game.

Noun

game m (plural games, diminutive gamepje n)

  1. A video game, an electronic game.
    Synonyms: videogame, videospel
Hyponyms
Related terms

Etymology 2

See the etymology of the main entry.

Verb

game

  1. first-person singular present indicative of gamen
  2. (archaic) singular present subjunctive of gamen
  3. imperative of gamen

Middle English game definition

Etymology 1

From Old English gamen, gomen; from Proto-Germanic *gamaną, of disputed origin.

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈɡaːm(ə)/, /ˈɡam(ə)/, /ˈɡaːmən/, /ˈɡamən/
  • (from OE gomen) IPA(key): /ˈɡɔːm(ə)/, /ˈɡɔːmən/
  • (Kent) IPA(key): /ˈɡɛːm(ə)/, /ˈɡɛːmən/

Noun

game (plural games or game)

  1. Entertainment or an instance of it; that which is enjoyable:
    1. A sport or other outdoor or physical activity.
    2. A game; a codified (and often competitive) form of entertainment.
    3. Sexual or romantic entertainment or activity (including intercourse in itself).
    4. An amusing, joking, or humorous activity or event.
  2. Any kind of event or occurrence; something that happens:
    1. An endeavour; a set of actions towards a goal.
    2. Any kind of activity having competition or rivalry.
  3. The state of being happy or joyful.
  4. Game; wild animals hunted for food.
  5. (rare) One's quarry; that which one is trying to catch.
  6. (rare) Gamesmanship; gaming behaviour.
  7. (rare) The reward for winning a game.
Derived terms
Descendants
References

Etymology 2

From Old English gæmnian, gamnian, gamenian.

Verb

game

  1. Alternative form of gamen

Portuguese game definition

Etymology 1

Borrowed from English game.

Pronunciation

Noun

game m (plural games)

  1. (Brazil, slang) electronic game (game played on an electronic device, such as a computer game, a video game or the like)
Quotations

For quotations using this term, see Citations:game.

See also

Etymology 2

See the etymology of the main entry.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): (Brazil) /ˈɡɐ̃.mi/, [ˈɡɐ̃.mi]
  • IPA(key): (Portugal) /ˈɡɐ.mɨ/, [ˈɡɐ.mɨ]

  • Hyphenation: ga‧me

Verb

game

  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of gamar
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of gamar
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of gamar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of gamar

Spanish game definition

Noun

game m (plural games)

  1. (tennis) game