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noun ma·neu·ver \mə-ˈnü-vər, -ˈnyü-\

Simple Definition of maneuver

  • : a clever or skillful action or movement

  • : a planned movement of soldiers or ships

  • maneuvers : military activities that are done for training

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of maneuver

  1. 1 a :  a military or naval movement b :  an armed forces training exercise; especially :  an extended and large-scale training exercise involving military and naval units separately or in combination —often used in plural

  2. 2 :  a procedure or method of working usually involving expert physical movement

  3. 3 a :  evasive movement or shift of tactics b :  an intended and controlled variation from a straight and level flight path in the operation of an airplane

  4. 4 a :  an action taken to gain a tactical end b :  an adroit and clever management of affairs often using trickery and deception

Examples of maneuver in a sentence

  1. With a quick maneuver, she avoided an accident.

  2. Through a series of legal maneuvers, the defense lawyer kept her client out of jail.

  3. He led his troops in a well-planned maneuver.

  4. To prepare for war, the army is performing maneuvers off the coast.

  5. The army is on maneuvers.

Origin of maneuver

French manœuvre, from Old French maneuvre work done by hand, from Medieval Latin manuopera, from manu operare to perform manual labor — more at manure

First Known Use: 1758

Synonym Discussion of maneuver

trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end <the tricks of the trade>. ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression <the ruses of smugglers>. stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy <the stratagem-filled game>. maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty <last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy>. artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention <the clever artifices of the stage>. wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements <used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself>. feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent <a feint toward the enemy's left flank>.

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms

Rhymes with maneuver



verb ma·neu·ver

Simple Definition of maneuver

  • : to move (something or someone) in a careful and usually skillful way

  • : to do something in an effort to get an advantage, get out of a difficult situation, etc.

  • : to move (soldiers, ships, etc.) where they are needed for battle

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of maneuver

maneuveredmaneuvering play \-ˈnü-və-riŋ, -ˈnyü-; -ˈn(y)üv-riŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to perform a movement in military or naval tactics in order to secure an advantage b :  to make a series of changes in direction and position for a specific purpose

  3. 2 :  to use stratagems :  scheme

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to cause to execute tactical movements

  6. 2 :  to manage into or out of a position or condition :  manipulate

  7. 3 a :  to guide with adroitness and design b :  to bring about or secure as a result of skillful management

maneuverability play \-ˌnü-və-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌnyü-; -ˌn(y)üv-rə-\ noun
maneuverable play \-ˈnü-və-rə-bəl, -ˈnyü-; -ˈn(y)üv-rə-\ adjective
maneuverer play \-ˈnü-vər-ər, -ˈnyü-\ noun

Examples of maneuver in a sentence

  1. She maneuvered her car into the tiny garage.

  2. It took seven people to maneuver the tiger out of its cage.

  3. We had a hard time maneuvering our furniture through the doorway.

  4. The giant ships maneuvered into their docks.

  5. The vehicle easily maneuvered through rocky terrain.

  6. They held hands while maneuvering through the crowd.

  7. The companies are maneuvering for position in the limited market.

  8. Somehow, she always manages to maneuver herself out of difficult situations.

  9. We maneuvered our troops to the south.

  10. The opposing forces maneuvered quickly.


First Known Use of maneuver


MANEUVER Defined for Kids



noun ma·neu·ver \mə-ˈnü-vər, -ˈnyü-\

Definition of maneuver for Students

  1. 1 :  skillful action or management <The driver avoided an accident by a quick maneuver.>

  2. 2 :  a training exercise by armed forces

  3. 3 :  a planned movement of troops or ships



verb ma·neu·ver

Definition of maneuver for Students


  1. 1 :  to guide skillfully <Our captain maneuvered the boat safely into the harbor.>

  2. 2 :  to move troops or ships where they are needed

maneuverability \mə-ˌnü-və-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌnyü-\ noun
maneuverable \-ˈnü-və-rə-bəl, -ˈnyü-\ adjective

Medical Dictionary


noun ma·neu·ver

Medical Definition of maneuver

  1. 1:  a movement, procedure, or method performed to achieve a desired result and especially to restore a normal physiological state or to promote normal function <the simplest maneuver to actuate the normal eustachian tube is to swallow—H. G. Armstrong>—see heimlich maneuver, valsalva maneuver

  2. 2:  a manipulation to accomplish a change of position; specifically :  rotational or other movement applied to a fetus within the uterus to alter its position and facilitate delivery—see scanzoni maneuver

Variants of maneuver

or chiefly British manoeuvre \mə-ˈn(y)ü-vər\play

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up maneuver? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


expressing little or no emotion

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