Meaning of GAME in English

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?

game against/with

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

game of

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:

game birds

⇨ ↑ 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)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ 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.

■ phrases

▪ 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.

game for

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

—gamely adverb

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

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.