brink·​man·​ship | \ ˈbriŋk-mən-ˌship How to pronounce brinkmanship (audio) \
variants: or less commonly brinksmanship \ ˈbriŋ(k)s-​mən-​ˌship How to pronounce brinkmanship (audio) \

Definition of brinkmanship

: the art or practice of pushing a dangerous situation or confrontation to the limit of safety especially to force a desired outcome

Examples of brinkmanship in a Sentence

two nations caught up in nuclear brinksmanship
Recent Examples on the Web That Simeone’s team had been able to run City so close was not despite its brinkmanship, but because of it. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 The limitations on what those majorities can do is rapidly attenuating, and if voters don’t send a contrary message, the result will be a combustible mix of greater polarization, partisan brinkmanship and heightened election stakes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Wagner’s car rolled off of a VW Beetle assembly line in 1962, the year Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev played nuclear brinkmanship with President Kennedy. Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 The country will now face early elections after days of brinkmanship in which Mr. Khan tried to dissolve Parliament to head off the no-confidence vote. New York Times, 9 Apr. 2022 An atomic test would be the first globally in more than four years and add to concerns about the risks of nuclear brinkmanship amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Jon Herskovitz,, 7 Apr. 2022 North Korea’s resumption of nuclear brinkmanship reflects a determination to cement its status as a nuclear power and wrest economic concessions from Washington and others from a position of strength, analysts say. Kim Tong-hyung, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Mar. 2022 For the first time in at least 30 years, a US president has arrived with the continent rattled by Russian aggression and jarred by a return of nuclear brinkmanship. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 24 Mar. 2022 This, in effect, would be a victory for Putin and his tactics of nuclear brinkmanship, leading to a more dangerous world in which other dictators take the lesson that bullying and intimidation work. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brinkmanship.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of brinkmanship

1956, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for brinkmanship

Time Traveler

The first known use of brinkmanship was in 1956

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brinkmanship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on brinkmanship

Nglish: Translation of brinkmanship for Spanish Speakers


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