maneuver

noun
ma·​neu·​ver | \ mə-ˈnü-vər , -ˈnyü-\

Definition of maneuver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a military or naval movement
b : an armed forces training exercise especially : an extended and large-scale training exercise involving military and naval units separately or in combination often used in plural The army and navy conducted maneuvers as training for war.
2 : a procedure or method of working usually involving expert physical movement acrobats performing dangerous maneuvers
3a : evasive movement or shift of tactics permits no room for concession or maneuver— Harry Schwartz
b : an intended and controlled variation from a straight and level flight path in the operation of an airplane The aircraft performed such maneuvers as spins, loops, and inverted flights.
4a : an action taken to gain a tactical end this maneuver almost cost him the nomination— H. L. Mencken
b : an adroit and clever management of affairs often using trickery and deception plaintiffs' pretrial maneuvers may be fashioned more with an eye to deterrence or retaliation than to unearthing germane material— John Marshall

maneuver

verb
maneuvered; maneuvering\ -​ˈnü-​və-​riŋ , -​ˈnyü-​ ; -​ˈn(y)üv-​riŋ \

Definition of maneuver (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to perform a movement in military or naval tactics in order to secure an advantage The regiment maneuvered for several days before it was ready to attack.
b : to make a series of changes in direction and position for a specific purpose Ships maneuvered into their docks.
2 : to use stratagems : scheme maneuvered successfully to get him to ask her to the dance

transitive verb

1 : to cause to execute tactical movements We maneuvered our troops to the south.
2 : to manage into or out of a position or condition : manipulate maneuvered the cork out with his thumb— Kay Boyle
3a : to guide with adroitness and design maneuvered her guests until the talk at the table became general— Jean Statford
b : to bring about or secure as a result of skillful management maneuvered out of the council the funds to renovate the library

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Other Words from maneuver

Verb

maneuverability \ -​ˌnü-​və-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē , -​ˌnyü-​ ; -​ˌn(y)üv-​rə-​ \ noun
maneuverable \ -​ˈnü-​və-​rə-​bəl , -​ˈnyü-​ ; -​ˈn(y)üv-​rə-​ \ adjective
maneuverer \ -​ˈnü-​vər-​ər , -​ˈnyü-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for maneuver

Noun

trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end. the tricks of the trade ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression. the ruses of smugglers stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy. the stratagem-filled game maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty. last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention. the clever artifices of the stage wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements. used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent. a feint toward the enemy's left flank

Examples of maneuver in a Sentence

Noun

With a quick maneuver, she avoided an accident. Through a series of legal maneuvers, the defense lawyer kept her client out of jail. He led his troops in a well-planned maneuver. To prepare for war, the army is performing maneuvers off the coast. The army is on maneuvers.

Verb

She maneuvered her car into the tiny garage. It took seven people to maneuver the tiger out of its cage. We had a hard time maneuvering our furniture through the doorway. The giant ships maneuvered into their docks. The vehicle easily maneuvered through rocky terrain. They held hands while maneuvering through the crowd. The companies are maneuvering for position in the limited market. Somehow, she always manages to maneuver herself out of difficult situations. We maneuvered our troops to the south. The opposing forces maneuvered quickly.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Republicans were not interested in the Democratic maneuver. Carl Hulse, New York Times, "No Room for Debate: Senate Floor Fight Over Immigration Is a Bust," 15 Feb. 2018 Washington has long used joint military maneuvers to build closer relationships with countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "With Naval Exercises, China Cozies Up to U.S. Friends in Southeast Asia," 19 Oct. 2018 You’ve just got to stay on-throttle with your docking maneuvers—go in at an angle with confidence, bang reverse and crank the wheel to bring the stern in. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Testing the Yamaha 210 FSH: The Boat That Blew Up the Formula," 31 Aug. 2018 Power Moves: With Venus entering the top of your chart this week, this is prime time for putting the feeling of love and pleasure on top, and treating your self-sufficient maneuvers in the world with tenderness. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes February 5-11," 5 Feb. 2011 Such maneuvers highlight the delicate balance China has to strike between encouraging Pyongyang and Washington to engage on ending the North’s nuclear program and pushing Pyongyang too far into Trump’s embrace. Washington Post, "China winner from summit but wary of closer US-N. Korea ties," 13 June 2018 Russia and China have long joined North Korea in denouncing the U.S. maneuvers in South Korea as a rehearsal for invasion. David S. Cloud, latimes.com, "Trump's decision to halt military exercises with South Korea leaves Pentagon and allies nervous," 12 June 2018 In fact, its depiction of an arcane legislative maneuver has been hailed as one of the most accurate moments in movies about Congress. Abigail Simon, Time, "Here's What the 'Legally Blonde 2' Screenwriter Thinks of the House Using Her Plot Twist," 12 June 2018 Boeing engineers determined the MAX’s design required additional stall protections in extreme maneuvers, partly to gain essential FAA certification, according to people familiar with the matter. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Boeing Omitted Safety-System Details, Minimized Training for Crashed Lion Air 737 Model," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the Pistons' cap situation is one of the worst in the league, with little room to maneuver in free agency. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "How Anthony Tolliver improved shot; will he stay with Detroit Pistons?," 28 June 2018 Nordmann waved his arms to keep others away from Patterson so the jumper had room to maneuver. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Plymouth high jumper Nate Patterson: First, Indiana; next, the world," 14 June 2018 Photos posted to social media showed so many long, black plastic bags that authorities were running out of room to maneuver in the operating room without standing on trash. Alex Horton, BostonGlobe.com, "No one could save a pilot whale that swallowed 17 pounds of plastic bags off Thailand," 3 June 2018 While these generations are connected through policy and the momentum of history, the current North Korean leader has more room to maneuver than his father and grandfather did. Rodger Baker, Fortune, "Commentary: Trump and Kim Are Both Unconventional. That Might Help Them Strike a Deal.," 2 May 2018 Single rooms can be a bit cramped, but the Premiere Double is mostly right with enough room to maneuver. Davey Young, Condé Nast Traveler, "What To Do in Shibuya: Our Guide," 5 Mar. 2018 The Glenn Highway, coated with fresh snow Saturday, turned to ice north of Eagle River as trucks loaded with sleds, gear and at least 16 dogs maneuvered out of the city Saturday afternoon. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "The 2018 Iditarod is underway," 4 Mar. 2018 Coker's maneuvering out of the sixth-inning predicament helped Auburn maintain a lead that was built on the bat of freshman Edouard Julien, who drove in all four of Auburn's runs. Tom Green, AL.com, "Calvin Coker preserves series-opening win vs. BYU, 10-0 start for Auburn," 2 Mar. 2018 This isn’t even the first book depicting lunar clashes between China and the US this year — David Pedreira’s novel Gunpowder Moon imagines geopolitical pawn pieces maneuvering around one another as the crew of a mining outfit try to avert war. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Red Moon is a novel full of fascinating ideas that never come together," 3 Nov. 2018

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

Noun

1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1777, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for maneuver

Noun and Verb

French manœuvre, from Old French maneuvre work done by hand, from Medieval Latin manuopera, from manu operare to perform manual labor — more at manure

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Learn More about maneuver

Statistics for maneuver

Last Updated

30 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maneuver

The first known use of maneuver was in 1759

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More Definitions for maneuver

maneuver

noun

English Language Learners Definition of maneuver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a clever or skillful action or movement
: a planned movement of soldiers or ships
: military activities that are done for training

maneuver

verb

English Language Learners Definition of maneuver (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move (something or someone) in a careful and usually skillful way
: to do something in an effort to get an advantage, get out of a difficult situation, etc.
: to move (soldiers, ships, etc.) where they are needed for battle

maneuver

noun
ma·​neu·​ver | \ mə-ˈnü-vər , -ˈnyü-\

Kids Definition of maneuver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : skillful action or management The driver avoided an accident by a quick maneuver.
2 : a training exercise by armed forces
3 : a planned movement of troops or ships

maneuver

verb
maneuvered; maneuvering

Kids Definition of maneuver (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to guide skillfully Our captain maneuvered the boat safely into the harbor.
2 : to move troops or ships where they are needed

Other Words from maneuver

maneuverability \ mə-​ˌnü-​və-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē , -​ˌnyü-​ \ noun
maneuverable \ -​ˈnü-​və-​rə-​bəl , -​ˈnyü-​ \ adjective

maneuver

noun
ma·​neu·​ver
variants: or chiefly British manoeuvre \ mə-​ˈn(y)ü-​vər \

Medical Definition of maneuver

1 : a movement, procedure, or method performed to achieve a desired result and especially to restore a normal physiological state or to promote normal function the simplest maneuver to actuate the normal eustachian tube is to swallow— H. G. Armstrong — see heimlich maneuver, valsalva maneuver
2 : a manipulation to accomplish a change of position specifically : rotational or other movement applied to a fetus within the uterus to alter its position and facilitate delivery — see scanzoni maneuver

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More from Merriam-Webster on maneuver

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maneuver

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maneuver

Spanish Central: Translation of maneuver

Nglish: Translation of maneuver for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maneuver for Arabic Speakers

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