maneuver

noun
ma·​neu·​ver | \ mə-ˈnü-vər How to pronounce maneuver (audio) , -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\ mə-​ˈnü-​və-​riŋ How to pronounce maneuvering (audio) , -​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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from maneuver

Verb

maneuverability \ mə-​ˌnü-​və-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce maneuverability (audio) , -​ˌnyü-​ ; -​ˌn(y)üv-​rə-​ \ noun
maneuverable \ mə-​ˈnü-​və-​rə-​bəl How to pronounce maneuverable (audio) , -​ˈnyü-​ ; -​ˈn(y)üv-​rə-​ \ adjective
maneuverer \ mə-​ˈnü-​vər-​ər How to pronounce maneuverer (audio) , -​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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But a legislative maneuver killed the bill indefinitely after state GOP Rep. David Bates and others raised concerns about whether teens could marry while one of them was deployed for military service. NBC News, "End child marriage in the U.S.? You might be surprised who's opposed.," 8 Sep. 2019 Rappoport reported surgery will not be necessary, but that doesn’t rule out a reduction maneuver to put the clavicle back in place. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill figures to miss significant time," 8 Sep. 2019 The Assembly voted after a maneuver allowing lawmakers to call a measure with little public notice. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "Crackdown on vaccine exemptions moves toward passage in California," 3 Sep. 2019 Opponents of Johnson’s move view it as a cynical and perhaps unconstitutional maneuver. Laura Beers, The Conversation, "Why the queen said yes to Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament," 29 Aug. 2019 Perhaps seizing on a shouted protest to confront a rival during a political debate should be looked at as a cynical maneuver. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Who Won the Democratic Debate?: raceAhead," 1 Aug. 2019 But since Trump's tweet, Justice Department lawyers have been working furiously to find a way to appease him and devise a legal maneuver that would allow the question to be added with the Supreme Court's blessing. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census," 5 July 2019 But Kriseman has already called their bluff, exposing this as a desperate maneuver with no leverage. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Split-Season Push in Montreal Is the Rays' Latest Desperate Attempt for a New Stadium," 20 June 2019 The Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November 2017, in what was widely seen as a political maneuver to ensure victory by Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party in the 2018 general election. Fox News, "Cambodian leader flips the script on opponents' noodle ploy," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lower inflation makes for even less room to maneuver. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Trump Urges ‘Big’ Rate Cut as Fed Faces Challenges," 16 Sep. 2019 After years of raising money, a local fire department has replaced a 2001 emergency vehicle with a brand-new one that is far less expensive than a fire engine and easier to maneuver on narrow roads. Akira Kyles, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Lineboro fire company replaces 18-year-old medical support response unit with new Tahoe," 26 Aug. 2019 And because the clean and dirty water tanks are stacked (rather than side-by-side or front-to-back), the appliance has a slim design and low profile that’s easy to maneuver under furniture and to store. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Carpet Cleaners to Buy in 2019," 15 Jan. 2019 Basically, California builders began making boards safer, lighter, easier to stand on and easier to maneuver through the water than the ones the Hawaiians had used for centuries, Moore said. John Rogers, The Seattle Times, "Surf’s up in California, where it’s now the official sport," 20 Aug. 2018 Try using floss picks, which are easier to maneuver for floss-haters than the traditional string. Jessica Girdwain, Redbook, "What's Your Health Confession?," 15 Feb. 2012 The Arizona Department of Transportation said traffic was maneuvering around the crashes. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Fatal crash involving 2 semitrucks forces partial closure on I-10 west of Phoenix," 4 Sep. 2019 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a speech during an exhibition in Tehran on Aug. 26, 2019.(Iranian presidential office) Macron has been carefully maneuvering to broker a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Los Angeles Times, "Trump says he’s willing to negotiate with Iran, doesn’t want leadership change," 26 Aug. 2019 Salvini has been maneuvering to become Italy’s next leader as support for his party grows on his anti-migrant stance. Washington Post, "The Latest: Italian PM is asked to stay as caretaker leader," 20 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maneuver

Statistics for maneuver

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maneuver

The first known use of maneuver was in 1759

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce maneuver (audio) , -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 How to pronounce manoeuvre (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on maneuver

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!