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 Coupled with political brinkmanship, the rollout has left more North Texans frustrated than vaccinated. Dallas News, "Dallas County wants to vaccinate 1,000 people an hour. But kinks remain, commissioners say," 2 Feb. 2021 And City Hall and the Chicago Teacher’s Union are getting deeper into another round of brinkmanship. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Biden’s climate platform faces challenges from Illinois coal-fire plant, Downstate congressmen | Cupich balks at Catholic Bishops president criticizing Biden | CTU vs. Lightfoot as strike threat looms," 21 Jan. 2021 Trump signs virus relief bill: After days of brinkmanship, President Trump has signed the $900 billion bill that would give Americans stimulus checks, extend jobless benefits and aid small businesses. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus updates from the Bay Area: Dec. 24-30," 1 Jan. 2021 Iran has not publicly acknowledged any new construction at Fordo, whose discovery by the West in 2009 came in an earlier round of brinkmanship before world powers struck the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. Jon Gambrell, Anchorage Daily News, "Iran begins new construction at underground nuclear facility as tensions with US remain high," 18 Dec. 2020 Shadowing the meetings are negotiations over a final Brexit deal with Britain, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson dabbling once more in a risky game of brinkmanship. Washington Post, "Europe rallies amid crises, but its divisions show all the more," 11 Dec. 2020 Its removal lightens the mood but there is still a lot of brinkmanship at play with both sides pushing the limits of what a real deadline is. Alberto Nardelli,, "Johnson Heads Into Brussels Showdown Over Brexit Trade Deal," 8 Dec. 2020 Our podcast tells a tale of nuclear brinkmanship, backroom politics, and science fiction. Washington Post, "Astronauts on the space station discuss SpaceX’s rocket, sleeping quarters and Baby Yoda," 16 Nov. 2020 No matter the path, business groups, economists and others are hoping for a coherent strategy that does not result in the type of economic brinkmanship Mr. Trump appeared to thrive on. Ana Swanson, New York Times, "Biden’s China Policy? A Balancing Act for a Toxic Relationship," 16 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for brinkmanship

Time Traveler

The first known use of brinkmanship was in 1956

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Statistics for brinkmanship

Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brinkmanship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for brinkmanship



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

More from Merriam-Webster on brinkmanship

Nglish: Translation of brinkmanship for Spanish Speakers

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