zero-sum game


: a situation in which one person or group can win something only by causing another person or group to lose it
Dividing up the budget is a zero-sum game.

Examples of zero-sum game in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But there is a bit of a zero-sum game in the battle between cities and their suburbs, isn‘t there? IEEE Spectrum, 18 May 2021 The beauty of creating a customer for life is that both sides grow together in an alliance that proves business need not be a zero-sum game. Wayne McCulloch, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2023

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

Dictionary Entries Near zero-sum game

Cite this Entry

“Zero-sum game.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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