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

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

The brinkmanship is not unusual and is often baked into government budget negotiations with threats of a shutdown serving as catalysts to last-minute deals. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "Feud Over Millionaire’s Tax Inches New Jersey Closer to Shutdown," 28 June 2018 Schumer suspects, as do many lawmakers in the Capitol, that Trump’s opposition to the project is aimed at winning leverage to fund the border wall, but the brinkmanship is adding uncertainty to the negotiations. Washington Post, "Money’s not the main issue as lawmakers tackle spending bill," 10 Mar. 2018 But if that brinkmanship had ended differently, the costs would’ve been tremendous. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump has eroded important democratic institutions. Will Democratic wins change that?," 8 Nov. 2018 The brinkmanship, favored by Steve Bannon, might hurt red-state Senate Democrats, but could boomerang in the House, the Journal says. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Critics say Trump doesn't care about losing the House. Really?," 1 Aug. 2018 Complicating matters are internal church politics and partisan brinkmanship. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl faces calls to resign over Catholic sex abuse cover-up," 29 Aug. 2018 The insults and nuclear brinkmanship alarmed other world leaders, who feared war and a new nuclear arms race. Anne Gearan,, "Trump declares North Korea still a threat, despite his claim after historic summit," 23 June 2018 The World Trade Organization was created to prevent exactly this kind of bluffing and brinkmanship., "Using Game Theory to Explain the U.S.-China Spat," 21 June 2018 Trump must be wary; canny brinkmanship defines the Kim clan. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "Self-Championed Dealmaker Donald Trump Faces the Ultimate Test Meeting Kim Jong Un," 9 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of brinkmanship

1956, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for brinkmanship

The first known use of brinkmanship was in 1956

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English Language Learners Definition of brinkmanship

: the practice of causing or allowing a situation to become extremely dangerous in order to get the results that you want

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brinkmanship

Nglish: Translation of brinkmanship for Spanish Speakers

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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