games·​man·​ship | \ ˈgāmz-mən-ˌship How to pronounce gamesmanship (audio) \

Definition of gamesmanship

1 : the art or practice of winning games by questionable expedients without actually violating the rules
2 : the use of ethically dubious methods to gain an objective

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Examples of gamesmanship in a Sentence

They blur the line between gamesmanship and cheating. that author doesn't go in for literary gamesmanship, so the reader is never led astray by the novel's narrator
Recent Examples on the Web Duplissea’s thirst for political gamesmanship seemed to dovetail with his appreciation for sports, which persisted throughout his life. Rachel Swan,, "Bill Duplissea, one of the Bay Area’s last Republican legislators, dies at 70," 4 July 2020 The main focus, however, is on political gamesmanship, embodied by consultant Gary Zimmer, played by Carell. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Jon Stewart tackles the union of money and politics in 'Irresistible'," 25 June 2020 In his dissent, Justice Alito accused the city of litigation gamesmanship in attempting to make the case moot after the court granted review. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to New York City Gun Ordinance," 27 Apr. 2020 What's the process to make sure that the people who are testifying are those at senior levels who understand the political gamesmanship that Chairman Schiff is going to conduct. NBC News, "Meet the Press - February 23, 2020," 23 Feb. 2020 The gamesmanship between Netanyahu and Gantz since the do-over election last month has resembled a chess match in which Netanyahu’s position was weaker but the conclusion was hardly foregone., "In a video posted to his Twitter account Monday, shortly after the end of the Sukkot holiday in Israel, Netanyahu said he had “worked relentlessly, in the open but also in secret, in an effort to form a broad national unity government” with Gantz.," 22 Oct. 2019 In baseball's new era of big data, high-definition cameras and tablets in the dugout, pitch-tipping – and how teams decipher and share the information – has become less about gamesmanship and entered something of an ethical gray area. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "'Everybody's got their own version of ethics': Tipping pitches gets magnified in modern-day MLB," 15 Oct. 2019 Congressional power fell in the lap of Republicans, thanks to the departure of Wigfall and his southern colleagues; their seizing of it seems, in retrospect, less a matter of superior gamesmanship than a law of political gravity. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020 In a bit of gamesmanship that the Patriots themselves had used earlier in the season, Titans coach Mike Vrabel took repeated penalties on a punt to keep the game clock moving in the fourth quarter. Chad Finn,, "Tony Romo may be one of the most coveted free agents in football this offseason," 17 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gamesmanship.' 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 gamesmanship

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gamesmanship

games, plural of game entry 1 + -manship (after sportsmanship)

Note: A word popularized and probably originated in this sense by the British author Stephen Potter (1900-69) in The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship (1947).

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Time Traveler for gamesmanship

Time Traveler

The first known use of gamesmanship was in 1947

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Statistics for gamesmanship

Last Updated

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gamesmanship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for gamesmanship


How to pronounce gamesmanship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gamesmanship

usually disapproving
: the practice of winning a game or contest by doing things that seem unfair but that are not actually against the rules
: the clever use of skills or tricks to succeed or do something

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gamesmanship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gamesmanship

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