waiting game


wait·​ing game ˈwā-tiŋ- How to pronounce waiting game (audio)
: a strategy in which one or more participants withhold action temporarily in the hope of having a favorable opportunity for more effective action later

Examples of waiting game in a Sentence

Until they make their decision, we're just playing a waiting game.
Recent Examples on the Web Playing the waiting game paid off for the Giants, who now feature the top two finishers in last year’s National League Cy Young voting at the top of their rotation. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 18 Mar. 2024 Changes to the federal form that provides funds for millions of students to attend college each year have produced major delays this year, leaving students and universities alike to play a waiting game. The Enquirer, 16 Jan. 2024 The next few months will be a waiting game for him, as schools like his compile financial aid offers expected to arrive much later than in prior years. Zachary Schermele, USA TODAY, 5 Mar. 2024 Later, having carved out a small sense of day-to-day normalcy in their waiting game, the survivors are struck by an avalanche that upends their lives once again. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2023 That waiting game seems poised to become even more dangerous as the death toll inside the enclave continues to rise. Shannon K. Crawford, ABC News, 8 Dec. 2023 But many buyers have lost patience with this waiting game. Ellen James Martin, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Even more than the average Hollywood endeavor, this production was a waiting game: waiting for the right time to reunite Payne and Giamatti after 2004’s Sideways, for the perfect script, for the perfect filming conditions, for the perfect release date. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Jan. 2024 The waiting game is finally over and so many luxury shopping destinations and cool-girl jewelry brands are offering Cyber Week deals that can't be beat. Jake Smith, Glamour, 27 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'waiting game.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of waiting game was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near waiting game

Cite this Entry

“Waiting game.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waiting%20game. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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