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

      

    game

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ɡeɪm//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡeɪm//
     
    Board games, Tennis, Departments in stores
     
    jump to other results
    activity/sport
  1. 1  [countable] an activity or a sport with rules in which people or teams compete against each other card games board games a game of chance/skill ball games, such as football or tennis (North American English) We're going to the ball game (= baseball game). see also war game See related entries: Board games
  2. 2  [countable] an occasion of playing a game to play a game of chess Saturday’s League game against Swansea Let's have a game of table tennis. They're in training for the big game.
  3. 3[singular] somebody’s game the way in which somebody plays a game Maguire raised his game to collect the £40 000 first prize. Stretching exercises can help you avoid injury and improve your game.
  4. sports
  5. 4  games [plural] a large organized sports event the Olympic Games
  6. 5games [plural] (old-fashioned, British English) sport as a lesson or an activity at school I always hated games at school.
  7. part of sports match
  8. 6  [countable] a section of some games, such as tennis, which forms a unit in scoring two games all (= both players have won two games) See related entries: Tennis
  9. children’s activity
  10. 7  [countable] a children’s activity when they play with toys, pretend to be somebody else, etc. a game of cops and robbers Synonymsinteresthobby game pastimeThese are all words for activities that you do for pleasure in your spare time.interest an activity or a subject that you do or study for pleasure in your spare time:Her main interests are music and gardening.hobby an activity that you do for pleasure in your spare time:His hobbies include swimming and cooking.game a children’s activity when they play with toys, pretend to be somebody else, etc.; an activity that you do to have fun:a game of cops and robbers He was playing games with the dog.pastime an activity that people do for pleasure in their spare time:Eating out is the national pastime in France.interest, hobby or pastime? A hobby is often more active than an interest:His main hobby is football (= he plays football). His main interest is football (= he watches and reads about football, and may or may not play it). Pastime is used when talking about people in general; when you are talking about yourself or an individual person it is more usual to use interest or hobby:Eating out is the national interest/​hobby in France. Do you have any pastimes?Patterns a popular interest/​hobby/​pastime to have/​share interests/​hobbies to take up/​pursue a(n) interest/​hobby Culturetoys and gamesMost young children are given toys for their birthday or at Christmas. Many regularly spend their pocket money or allowance on smaller toys. Popular toys include building bricks such as Lego, plastic farm animals, toy cars, model railways and dressing-up costumes. Girls especially have dolls, and several sets of clothes to dress them in. Action Man figures are mainly for boys and Barbie dolls for girls. Babies are given rattles (= toys that make a noise when shaken), soft cuddly toys and a teddy bear. Action figures, small plastic models of characters from television shows or films, are also popular. Some parents do not allow their children to have guns or other ‘violent’ toys because they do not want them to think it is fun to kill people.Among traditional games that are still popular are marbles, which is played with small, coloured glass balls, board games such as snakes and ladders and ludo, card games such as Happy Families, and word games such as hangman. Board and card games are played with family or friends, but children play alone with computer games or video games.Many children collect objects, such as shells, model animals, stamps or picture cards. In the US baseball cards, cards with a picture of a baseball player on them, are sold with bubblegum (= a sweet with which you can blow bubbles). In Britain picture cards are often given free in packets of breakfast cereal.Children play outside with skipping ropes, bicycles, skateboards and Rollerblades™. In playgrounds there are often swings, a slide, a see-saw and a climbing frame (AmE jungle gym) to climb on. Traditional games played outside include hopscotch, a game in which children hop over squares drawn on the ground to try to pick up a stone, and tag, in which one child chases the others until he or she catches one of them and then that child has to chase the rest.Toys are often expensive and, even if they can afford them, many parents are unwilling to spend a lot of money on something that they know their children will soon get bored with. Children want toys they see advertised on television or in comics, or toys that their friends already have. There are sometimes crazes for toys connected with characters from a film.Few people give up toys and games completely when they become adults. Many keep their old teddy bear for sentimental reasons. There are now also executive toys, made specially for adults to keep on their desks. Many people play card games like bridge and poker, and board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, backgammon and chess.
  11. fun
  12. 8[countable] an activity that you do to have fun He was playing games with the dog. Synonymsinteresthobby game pastimeThese are all words for activities that you do for pleasure in your spare time.interest an activity or a subject that you do or study for pleasure in your spare time:Her main interests are music and gardening.hobby an activity that you do for pleasure in your spare time:His hobbies include swimming and cooking.game a children’s activity when they play with toys, pretend to be somebody else, etc.; an activity that you do to have fun:a game of cops and robbers He was playing games with the dog.pastime an activity that people do for pleasure in their spare time:Eating out is the national pastime in France.interest, hobby or pastime? A hobby is often more active than an interest:His main hobby is football (= he plays football). His main interest is football (= he watches and reads about football, and may or may not play it). Pastime is used when talking about people in general; when you are talking about yourself or an individual person it is more usual to use interest or hobby:Eating out is the national interest/​hobby in France. Do you have any pastimes?Patterns a popular interest/​hobby/​pastime to have/​share interests/​hobbies to take up/​pursue a(n) interest/​hobby See related entries: Departments in stores
  13. activity, business
  14. 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
  15. secret plan
  16. 10[countable] (informal) a secret and clever plan; a trick So that's his game (= now I know what he has been planning).
  17. wild animals/birds
  18. 11 [uncountable] wild animals or birds that people hunt for sport or food Wordfinderchase, falconry, game, hunt, open season, pack, poach, prey, safari, trail see also big game, fair game
  19. Word Origin Old English gamen ‘amusement, fun’, gamenian ‘play, amuse oneself’, of Germanic origin.Extra examples Chicago’s bid to host the Olympic Games Children love learning new games. Don’t let him talk to anybody or he’ll give the game away. He pitched a perfect game at Atlanta. He was unwittingly caught up in a dangerous game of lies and betrayals. He’s hoping to be fit before next week’s game with Liverpool. Hendry raised his game to become the champion. Hendry raised his game to collect the £40 000 first prize. How I hated team games at school! I realized that he had been playing a stupid game with me. I’ll soon put an end to her silly little games. It’s going to be a close game. It’s hard to find indoor games for children. Last night he played the final game of his career. Lufthansa entered the game with a 25% stake in the company. Shall we have a game of chess? She’s hoping to participate in the next Olympic Games. That girl plays a great game of bridge. The Olympic Games are held every four years. The company is developing games to play on mobile phones. The early stages of the game were dominated by the home team. The guys are in training for their big game. The team fought back to level the game. This is a good game for getting people to mix. To pass the time, we played a game of cards. Trescothick had a good game and was man of the match. Trevor had a good game. United are playing a home game this week. We won the first game and drew the second. a game of tennis children’s party games like Musical Chairs competitive games in which there is always a winner and a loser finding good indoor games for children the game of life/​politics their first League game of the season this week’s game against the Titans Chess is a game of skill. Davenport won the opening game of the third set. Discipline is the rock on which the game of golf is built. He’s levelled the second set at two games all. Predicting the outcome of the election is a game of chance. She broke Sharapova’s serve in the fourth game of the third set. So that’s his little game. The children invented a new game. The defence are coming under pressure for the first time in this game. Will he be available for Saturday’s game against the Bears? ball/​card/​board/​computer/​video gamesIdioms
    beat somebody at their own game
     
    jump to other results
    to defeat or do better than somebody 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. (British English, slang) to be a prostitute 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
     
    jump to other results
    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 goal down. (figurative) He’s been fighting to get the struggling company back in the game.
    (informal) activities that are not serious and that other people may disapprove of (informal) said to somebody who has done something wrong, when they are caught and the crime or trick has been discovered Maggie knew that he had recognized her and the game was up. (informal) used after something has happened that makes it clear that a contest is not yet decided and anyone could still win We were losing 2–0 with ten minutes to go, and then we scored. It was game on! to tell a secret, especially by accident; to show something that should be kept hidden (disapproving, especially British English) an activity that is unlikely to be successful or make a profit (informal) 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.
    (the game is) not worth the candle
     
    jump to other results
    (old-fashioned, saying) the advantages to be gained from doing something are not great enough, considering the effort or cost involved If the price goes up again, he may decide that the game’s not worth the candle.
    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 MPs were playing the numbers game as the crucial vote drew closer. (informal) the most important thing of a particular type, or the only thing that is available
    play (a game of) cat and mouse with somebody, play a cat-and-mouse game with somebody
     
    jump to other results
    to play a cruel game with somebody in your power by changing your behaviour 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.
    to behave in a fair and honest way You can’t do that—it’s not playing the game! to do something which helps somebody else’s plans, especially by accident, when you did not intend to help them
    play (silly) games (with somebody)
     
    jump to other results
    not to treat a situation seriously, especially in order to cheat somebody Don't play silly games with me; I know you did it.
    the standards of behaviour that most people accept or that actually operate in a particular area of life or business (North American English) to talk in a way that sounds convincing, but may not be sincere
    two can play at that game
     
    jump to other results
    (saying) used to tell somebody who has played a trick on you that you can do the same thing to them
    what’s somebody’s/your game?
     
    jump to other results
    (informal) used to ask why somebody is behaving as they are
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: game