I. game 1 S1 W1 /ɡeɪm/ BrE AmE noun
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: gamen ]
1 . ACTIVITY OR SPORT [countable]
a) an activity or sport in which people compete with each other according to agreed rules:
We used to love playing games like chess or backgammon.
b) an occasion when a game is played ⇨ match :
Did you see the game on TV last night?
a game of tennis/football etc
Would you like to have a game of tennis?
England’s World Cup game against Holland
⇨ ↑ ball game , ↑ board game , ↑ video game , ↑ war game
2 . games [plural]
a) a large organized sports event:
the Olympic Games
b) British English organized sports as a school subject or lesson SYN PE :
We have games on Thursdays.
a games lesson
3 . PART OF A MATCH [countable] one of the parts into which a single match is divided, for example in tennis or ↑ bridge 1 (4):
Graf leads, two games to one.
4 . CHILDREN [countable] a children’s activity in which they play with toys, pretend to be someone else etc
a game of hide-and-seek
The boys were playing a game in the backyard.
5 . SKILL sb’s game how well someone plays a particular game or sport
improve/raise your game
Liam’s taking lessons to improve his game.
the strongest aspect of his game
6 . give the game away to spoil a surprise or secret by doing or saying something that lets someone guess what the secret is:
Lynn gave the game away by laughing when Kim walked in.
7 . beat somebody at their own game ( also play somebody at their own game British English ) to beat someone or fight back against them by using the same methods that they use
8 . NOT SERIOUS be a game to be something that you do to enjoy yourself rather than for a serious purpose:
It’s just a game to them. They don’t care what happens.
9 . play games (with somebody)
a) to behave in a dishonest or unfair way in order to get what you want:
Are you sure he’s really interested, and not just playing silly games with you?
b) to not be serious about doing something:
We want a deal. We’re not interested in playing games.
10 . ANIMALS/BIRDS [uncountable] wild animals, birds, and fish that are hunted for food, especially as a sport:
⇨ ↑ big game
11 . the only game in town used to say that something is the only possible choice in a situation:
The Church of England is no longer the only game in town.
12 . BUSINESS [singular] informal an area of work or business:
I’ve been in this game for over ten years.
13 . what’s her/your etc game? British English spoken used to ask what the true reason for someone’s behaviour is:
Reg is being very nice all of a sudden. What’s his game?
14 . the game’s up spoken used to tell someone that something wrong or dishonest that they have done has been discovered:
Come out, Don. The game’s up.
15 . a game of chance a game in which you risk money on the result:
Poker is a game of chance.
16 . somebody got game American English informal used to say that someone is very skilful at doing something, especially a sport
17 . be on the game British English informal to be a ↑ prostitute
18 . game on spoken said when the balance of a sports match or competition changes, and both sides suddenly have a chance of winning
19 . game over informal said to emphasize that an event or activity is completely finished
20 . make game of somebody old-fashioned to make fun of someone
⇨ ↑ fair game , ⇨ fun and games at ↑ fun 1 (5), ⇨ the name of the game at ↑ name 1 (10), ⇨ a mug’s game at ↑ mug 1 (5)
• • •
▪ play a game
They explained how to play the game.
▪ see/watch a game
Did you see the game last night?
▪ have a game British English
They were having a game of pool.
▪ win/lose a game
A.C. Milan won the game with a last-minute goal.
Arsenal lost the game because of a mistake by their goalkeeper.
▪ the game is tied (=both teams or players had the same score)
The game was tied 10-10 at halftime.
▪ draw a game British English (=end the game with the same score as the opposing team or player)
We played badly and were lucky to draw the game.
■ NOUN + game
▪ a computer/video game
He was up all night playing computer games.
▪ a card game
Bridge is a card game for four people.
▪ a board/ball game
board games such as Monopoly and Scrabble
▪ a team game
I wasn't very good at team games when I was at school.
▪ a party game
What's your favourite party game?
▪ a basketball/baseball etc game
He was watching a baseball game on TV.
▪ a home game (=played at a team's own sports field)
Next Saturday Liverpool have a home game against Manchester United.
▪ an away game (=played at an opposing team's sports field)
We didn't win any away games last season.
▪ a league game (=played as part of a league competition)
There's a big league game against Chelsea on Saturday.
▪ a cup game (=played as part of a cup competition)
He hopes to play in the cup game on Wednesday.
▪ a playoff game American English (=one of a series of games played by the best teams in a competition to decide the final winner )
This is the first of their five playoff games.
▪ a play-off game British English (=played to decide the winner after a previous game ended with both teams having equal points)
▪ an indoor game
There is a hall for indoor games and social functions.
▪ an outdoor game
Outdoor games are affected by the weather.
▪ the rules of the game
It's against the rules of the game to pick up the ball.
II. game 2 BrE AmE adjective
[ Sense 1: Date: 1700-1800 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ game 1 ]
[ Sense 2: Date: 1700-1800 ; Origin: Perhaps from Old French gambi 'bent' ]
1 . willing to try something dangerous, new, or difficult:
Okay. I’m game if you are.
He’s always game for a laugh.
game to do something
‘Who’s game to have a try?’
2 . game leg old-fashioned an injured or painful leg
III. game 3 /ɡeɪm/ BrE AmE verb American English
game the system to use rules or laws to get what you want in an unfair but legal way