1 : a chess opening in which a player risks minor pieces to gain an advantage
2 : a remark intended to start a conversation
3 : a calculated move
Did You Know?
In 1656, a chess handbook was published that was said to have almost a hundred illustrated "gambetts." That early spelling of "gambit" is close to the Italian word, "gambetto," from which it is derived. "Gambetto" was used for an act of tripping-especially one that gave an advantage, as in wrestling. The original chess gambit is an opening in which a bishop's pawn is sacrificed to gain some advantage, but the name is now applied to many other chess openings. After being pinned down to chess for about two centuries, "gambit" finally broke free of the hold and showed itself to be a legitimate contender in the English language by weighing in with other meanings.
Mentioning that he had nothing to do on Saturday night was an obvious gambit by Miles to get invited to Donna's party.
"Square's gift card gambit is its latest stab at separating itself from a crowded field of competitors, including PayPal, Google, Intuit and Groupon." - From an article by Jon Swartz in USA Today, December 10, 2012
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
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What term from chess has the additional meaning "the final stage of some action or process"? The answer is ...
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