Definition of manoeuvre verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (especially US English maneuver) verb
    BrE BrE//məˈnuːvə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈnuːvər//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they manoeuvre
    BrE BrE//məˈnuːvə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈnuːvər//
    he / she / it manoeuvres
    BrE BrE//məˈnuːvəz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈnuːvərz//
    past simple manoeuvred
    BrE BrE//məˈnuːvəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈnuːvərd//
    past participle manoeuvred
    BrE BrE//məˈnuːvəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈnuːvərd//
    -ing form manoeuvring
    BrE BrE//məˈnuːvərɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈnuːvərɪŋ//
    Travelling by boat or ship
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move or turn skilfully or carefully; to move or turn something skilfully or carefully manoeuvre (for something) The yachts manoeuvred for position. There was very little room to manoeuvre. manoeuvre something (+ adv./prep.) She manoeuvred the car carefully into the garage. See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to control or influence a situation in a skilful but sometimes dishonest way The new laws have left us little room to manoeuvre (= not much opportunity to change or influence a situation). manoeuvre something + adv./prep. She manoeuvred her way to the top of the company.
  3. Word Originmid 18th cent. (as a noun in the sense ‘tactical movement’): from French manœuvre (noun), manœuvrer (verb), from medieval Latin manuoperare from Latin manus ‘hand’ + operari ‘to work’.Extra examples He carefully manoeuvred the boat past the rocks. He had manoeuvred his way into a position of strength in the party. The clutter of ships had little room to manoeuvre. Both leaders are manoeuvring for position. She was determined not to be manoeuvred into things she didn’t want to do. The new laws have left us little room for/​to manoeuvre. There have been months of political manoeuvring. They manoeuvred the boat skilfully over the rapids. You will need to learn how to manoeuvre in a confined space.