gamesmanship

noun
games·​man·​ship | \ ˈgāmz-mən-ˌship \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Photo: Gilder Lehrman Collection/Bridgeman Images My problem with the Senate is the political gamesmanship. WSJ, "Two Senators Per State Is the Right Number," 11 Oct. 2018 But his relationship with the media is, yes, there is gamesmanship to it. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains what the press gets wrong about the Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2018 What is required in this matter, as in any other, is sober analysis of the facts and the law—not partisan gamesmanship. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "“What is the FCC hiding?” Pai still won’t release net neutrality server logs," 3 Dec. 2018 These gatherings are often criticized because of political gamesmanship and a lack of transparency. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "As New Jersey’s Democratic Primaries Take Center Stage, Some Progressives Feel Squeezed Out," 1 June 2018 However, the Frenchman predicts that Friday's match against Uruguay will be their toughest yet, due to Uruguay's overtly defensive style and their gamesmanship. SI.com, "Antoine Griezmann Says That Uruguay Will Play Like Atletico Madrid & 'Fall and Go to the Referee'," 2 July 2018 The real crime is on the interior, where Johnson turns a crucifix—a symbol of the greatest sacrifice—into an excuse for empty formal gamesmanship. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "Arbiter of taste, enfant terrible: The best and worst of Philip Johnson," 6 Nov. 2018 The bill had a rocky start, with an early incarnation scuttled in committee thanks to ISP lobbyist gamesmanship. Karl Bode, The Verge, "California is leading the state-by-state fight for net neutrality," 1 Sep. 2018 None of that gamesmanship is likely to happen Tuesday. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "For All His Deals, Trump Has Never Faced an Adversary Like Kim Jong-un," 11 June 2018

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.

See More

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).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gamesmanship

Share gamesmanship

Statistics for gamesmanship

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gamesmanship

The first known use of gamesmanship was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gamesmanship

gamesmanship

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on gamesmanship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gamesmanship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gamesmanship

Comments on gamesmanship

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!