Definition of gambit noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɡæmbɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡæmbɪt//
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  1. 1a thing that somebody does, or something that somebody says at the beginning of a situation or conversation, that is intended to give them some advantage an opening gambit (= the first thing you say) The opposition have dismissed promises of tax cuts as a pre-election gambit. His idea of a brilliant conversational gambit is ‘What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?’
  2. 2a move or moves made at the beginning of a game of chess in order to gain an advantage later
  3. Word Originmid 17th cent.: originally gambett, from Italian gambetto, literally ‘tripping up’, from gamba ‘leg’.Extra examples It looks as if their gambit has paid off. It was a clever publicity gambit that ended in tragedy. The long silences were a gambit to make him talk.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gambit