American English

Definition of game noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    game

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ɡeɪm//
     
     
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    activity/sport
  1. 1[countable] an activity or a sport with rules in which individuals or teams compete against each other card games board games a game of chance/skill ball games, such as football or tennis We're going to the ball game (= baseball game). see also war game
  2. 2 [countable] an occasion of playing a game to play a game of chess Saturday's Little League game against St. Francis Let's play a game of ping-pong. They're in training for the big game.
  3. 3 [singular] somebody's game the way in which someone plays a game Jones raised his game to collect the $50,000 first prize. Stretching exercises can help you avoid injury and improve your game.
  4. sports
  5. 4games [plural] a large organized sports event the Olympic Games
  6. part of sports match
  7. 5[countable] a section of some games, such as tennis, which forms a unit in scoring two games all (= both players have won two games)
  8. children's activity
  9. 6 [countable] a children's activity when they play with toys, pretend to be someone else, etc. a game of cops and robbers
  10. fun
  11. 7[countable] an activity that you do to have fun He was playing games with the dog.
  12. computer/video games
  13. 8 [countable] an activity that you do for fun on a computer or television in which you press controls to move images on the screen a new computer/video game
  14. activity, business
  15. 9[countable] a type of activity or business How long have you been in this game? the game of politics I'm new to this game myself. Getting dirty was all part of the game to the kids. see also waiting game
  16. secret plan
  17. 10 [countable] (informal) a secret and usually dishonest plan; a trick So that's his game (= now I know what he has been planning).
  18. wild animals/birds
  19. 11[uncountable] wild animals or birds that people hunt for sport or food see also big game, fair game
  20. Idioms
    be ahead of the game
     
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    to be more successful than the people you are competing with in an activity Claire found that she was ahead of the game in her new job since she already had experience with marketing.
    beat somebody at their own game
     
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    to defeat or do better than someone in an activity which they have chosen or in which they think they are strong
    to not be considered to be serious For her the whole project was just a game.
    be out of the game
     
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    to no longer have a chance of winning a game or succeeding in an activity that you are taking part in
    be still/back in the game
     
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    to still/once again have a good chance of winning a game or succeeding in an activity that you are taking part in The team was still in the game, just one run down. (figurative) He's been fighting to get the struggling company back in the game.
    fun and games (informal)
     
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    activities that are not serious and that other people may disapprove of
    fun and games (informal)
     
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    activities that are not serious and that other people may disapprove of
    the game/jig is up (informal)
     
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    said when someone who has done something wrong is caught and the crime or trick is discovered Maggie knew that he had recognized her and the game was up.
    give the game away
     
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    to tell a secret, especially by accident; to show something that should be kept hidden
    the name of the game (informal)
     
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    the most important aspect of an activity; the most important quality needed for an activity Hard work is the name of the game if you want to succeed in business.
    numbers game
     
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    a way of considering an activity, etc. that is concerned only with the number of people doing something, things achieved, etc., not with who or what they are Candidates were playing the numbers game as the crucial vote drew closer.
    the only game in town (informal)
     
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    the most important thing of a particular type, or the only thing that is available
    on top of your game, at the top of your game (informal)
     
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    performing at the highest level in an activity or business At 42, she's still on top of her game.
    play (a game of) cat and mouse with somebody, play a cat-and-mouse game with somebody
     
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    to play a cruel game with someone in your power by changing your behavior very often, so that they become nervous and do not know what to expect He thought the police were playing some elaborate game of cat and mouse and waiting to trap him.
    play the game
     
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    to respect the rules or conditions set for a particular situation, especially in order to gain an advantage for yourself In politics, you need to play the game to get the support you need.
    play games (with somebody)
     
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    not to treat a situation seriously, especially in order to cheat someone Don't play games with me; I know you did it.
    the rules of the game
     
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    the standards of behavior that most people accept or that actually operate in a particular area of life or business
    talk a good game
     
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    to talk in a way that sounds convincing, but may not be sincere
    two can play (at) that game (saying)
     
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    used to tell someone who has played a trick on you that you can do the same thing to them
    what's somebody's/your game? (informal)
     
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    used to ask why someone is behaving as they are
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: game