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[gam-bit] /ˈgæm bɪt/
Chess. an opening in which a player seeks to obtain some advantage by sacrificing a pawn or piece.
any maneuver by which one seeks to gain an advantage.
a remark made to open or redirect a conversation.
1650-60; < French < Spanish gambito or Italian gambetto (akin to Old French gambet, jambet), equivalent to gamb(a) leg + -etta -et
Can be confused
gambit, gamut, gantlet, gauntlet.
2. ploy, stratagem, scheme, ruse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gambit
  • The early, aggressive discounts are opening gambit in what's expected to be a positive selling season for toys.
  • It might be a gambit to get you to back down.
  • You can't chip away at the defenses one objective at a time, it's usually an all or nothing gambit.
  • The book-inside-a-book-inside-a-book ad infinitum gambit may well tantalize the very young.
  • It turns out the gambit was a savvy business move.
  • Her most dangerous gambit is a political marriage to cement an alliance.
  • There's a dual purpose behind this fun gambit.
  • I'm not sure the role-playing gambit would work in math, but it might.
  • In fact, conversation can sometimes prove a more effective gambit than conflict.
  • But it could also be a one-year gambit.
British Dictionary definitions for gambit


(chess) an opening move in which a chessman, usually a pawn, is sacrificed to secure an advantageous position
an opening comment, manoeuvre, etc, intended to secure an advantage or promote a point of view
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian gambetto a tripping up, from gamba leg
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gambit

"chess opening in which a pawn is risked for advantage later," 1650s, gambett, from Italian gambetto, literally "a tripping up" (as a trick in wrestling), from gamba "leg," from Late Latin gamba (see gambol). Applied to chess openings in Spanish in 1561 by Ruy Lopez, who traced it to the Italian word, but the form in Spanish generally was gambito, which led to French gambit, which has influenced the English spelling of the word. Broader sense of "opening move meant to gain advantage" in English is recorded from 1855.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gambit in Technology
A variant of Scheme R3.99 supporting the future construct of Multilisp by Marc Feeley Implementation includes optimising compilers for Macintosh (with Toolbox and built-in editor) and Motorola 680x0 Unix systems and HP300, BBN GP100 and NeXT. Version 2.0 conforms to the IEEE Scheme standard.
Gambit used PVM as its intermediate language.
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Mailing list:
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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