Synonyms & Antonyms of game

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a competitive encounter between individuals or groups carried on for amusement, exercise, or in pursuit of a prize
  • decided he would indulge in a friendly basketball game with his friends before dinner

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2 a method worked out in advance for achieving some objective
  • the crook told his accomplice, "Here's the game: look surprised when the police ask about the money"

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3 an attitude or manner not to be taken seriously
  • there's no need to get upset, all our teasing is only a game

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4 the activity by which one regularly makes a living
  • stand-up comedy is his game, and he's one of a handful of people making a decent living at it

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5 a region of activity, knowledge, or influence
  • the education game simply was no longer of interest to her

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Synonyms & Antonyms of game (Entry 2 of 2)

having a desire or inclination (as for a specified course of action)
  • are you game for going out tonight?

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Frequently Asked Questions About game

How does the noun game differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of game are fun, jest, play, and sport. While all these words mean "action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter," game is close to sport, and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun.

made game of their poor relations

When could fun be used to replace game?

While in some cases nearly identical to game, fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose.

played cards just for fun

When can jest be used instead of game?

While the synonyms jest and game are close in meaning, jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing.

hurt by remarks said only in jest

When is play a more appropriate choice than game?

The synonyms play and game are sometimes interchangeable, but play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief.

pretended to strangle his brother in play

When might sport be a better fit than game?

The meanings of sport and game largely overlap; however, sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone.

teasing begun in sport led to anger

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Time Traveler for game

Time Traveler

The first known use of game was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Game.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on game

Nglish: Translation of game for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of game for Arabic Speakers


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