\ ˈgām How to pronounce game (audio) \

Definition of game

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : play
(2) : the equipment for a game
b : often derisive or mocking jesting : fun, sport make game of a nervous player
2a : a procedure or strategy for gaining an end : tactic
b : an illegal or shady scheme or maneuver : racket
3a(1) : a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other
(2) : a division of a larger contest
(3) : the number of points necessary to win
(4) : points scored in certain card games (as in all fours) by a player whose cards count up the highest
(5) : the manner of playing in a contest
(6) : the set of rules governing a game
(7) : a particular aspect or phase of play in a game or sport a football team's kicking game
b games plural : organized athletics
c(1) : a field of gainful activity : line the newspaper game
(2) : any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle the dating game the game of politics also : the course or period of such an activity got into aviation early in the game
(3) : area of expertise : specialty sense 3 comedy is not my game
4a(1) : animals under pursuit or taken in hunting especially : wild animals hunted for sport or food
(2) : the flesh of game animals
b archaic : pluck
c : a target or object especially of ridicule or attack often used in the phrase fair game


gamed; gaming

Definition of game (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to play for a stake

transitive verb

1 archaic : to lose or squander by gambling
2 : to take dishonest advantage of : cheat game the tax system


adjective (1)

Definition of game (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : having or showing a resolute unyielding spirit
b : willing or ready to proceed were game for anything
2 : of or relating to game game laws


adjective (2)

Definition of game (Entry 4 of 4)

: lame a game leg

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Other Words from game


gamelike \ ˈgām-​līk How to pronounce gamelike (audio) \ adjective

Adjective (1)

gamely adverb
gameness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for game


fun, jest, sport, game, play mean action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter. fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose. played cards just for fun jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing. hurt by remarks said only in jest sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone. teasing begun in sport led to anger game is close to sport, and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun. made game of their poor relations play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief. pretended to strangle his brother in play

Examples of game in a Sentence


poker and other gambling games She scored a goal to tie the game. We played a few games of chess. That was a good game! She won the first two games, but lost the set and the match. children playing at their games They are known to play a very rough game. She has a strong all-around game. She needs to improve her game if she wants to win the championship. a football team with a strong running game
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First Known Use of game


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1512, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective (1)

1752, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective (2)

circa 1787, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for game


Middle English game, gamen "delight, amusement, play, contest, pursuit of animals in sport," going back to Old English gamen, gomen "amusement, jest, pastime," going back to Germanic *gamano- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German gaman "amusement," Old Norse gaman "sport, amusement"), of uncertain origin


derivative of game entry 1

Adjective (1)

derivative of game entry 1 (earliest in phrase to die game "to meet death resolutely")

Adjective (2)

of obscure origin

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Time Traveler for game

The first known use of game was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for game



English Language Learners Definition of game

: a physical or mental activity or contest that has rules and that people do for pleasure
: a particular occurrence of a game
: one of the games that are part of a larger contest (such as a tennis match)


\ ˈgām How to pronounce game (audio) \

Kids Definition of game

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a contest or sport played according to rules with the players in direct opposition to each other
2 : the manner of playing in a game or contest She has improved her game.
3 : playful activity : something done for amusement The children were happy at their games.
4 : animals hunted for sport or for food
5 : the meat from animals hunted for food


gamer; gamest

Kids Definition of game (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : willing or ready to do something I'm game to try a new restaurant.
2 : full of spirit or eagerness She remained game to the end.
3 : relating to or being animals that are hunted the game laws game birds

Other Words from game

gamely adverb … he panted for breath as he stumbled gamely on. — Brian Jacques, Redwall
gamed; gaming

Legal Definition of game

: to play for a stake : gamble

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More from Merriam-Webster on game

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with game

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for game

Spanish Central: Translation of game

Nglish: Translation of game for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of game for Arabic Speakers

Comments on game

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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