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game1

[geym] /geɪm/
noun
1.
an amusement or pastime:
children's games.
2.
the material or equipment used in playing certain games:
a store selling toys and games.
3.
a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators.
4.
a single occasion of such an activity, or a definite portion of one:
the final game of the season; a rubber of three games at bridge.
5.
the number of points required to win a game.
6.
the score at a particular stage in a game:
With five minutes to play, the game was 7 to 0.
7.
a particular manner or style of playing a game:
Her game of chess is improving.
8.
anything resembling a game, as in requiring skill, endurance, or adherence to rules:
the game of diplomacy.
9.
a trick or strategy:
to see through someone's game.
10.
fun; sport of any kind; joke:
That's about enough of your games.
11.
wild animals, including birds and fishes, such as are hunted for food or taken for sport or profit.
12.
the flesh of such wild animals or other game, used as food:
a dish of game.
13.
any object of pursuit, attack, abuse, etc.:
The new boy at school seemed to be fair game for practical jokers.
14.
Informal. a business or profession:
He's in the real-estate game.
15.
Archaic. fighting spirit; pluck.
adjective, gamer, gamest.
16.
pertaining to or composed of animals hunted or taken as game or to their flesh.
17.
having a fighting spirit; plucky.
18.
Informal. having the required spirit or will (often followed by for or an infinitive):
Who's game for a hike through the woods?
verb (used without object), gamed, gaming.
19.
to play games of chance for stakes; gamble.
verb (used with object), gamed, gaming.
20.
to squander in gaming (usually followed by away).
Idioms
21.
die game,
  1. to die after a brave struggle.
  2. to remain steadfast or in good spirits at the moment of defeat:
    He knew that as a candidate he didn't have a chance in the world, but he campaigned anyway and died game.
22.
make game of, to make fun of; ridicule:
to make game of the weak and defenseless.
23.
off (or on) one’s game,
  1. Sports. playing very badly (or very well).
  2. not functioning (or functioning) at one’s usual level:
    She’s been off her game since she came back from vacation.
24.
play games, to act in an evasive, deceitful, manipulative, or trifling manner in dealing with others:
Don't play games with me—I want to know if you love me or not!
25.
play the game, Informal.
  1. to act or play in accordance with the rules.
  2. to act honorably or justly:
    We naively assumed that our allies would continue to play the game.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English gamen, Old English gaman; cognate with Old High German gaman glee
Related forms
gameless, adjective
gamelike, adjective
gameness, noun
ungamelike, adjective
Synonyms
3. sport, contest, competition. 9. scheme, artifice, stratagem, plan, plot, venture. 11, 13. prey, quarry. 17. brave, bold, intrepid, dauntless, fearless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for play the game

game1

/ɡeɪm/
noun
1.
an amusement or pastime; diversion
2.
a contest with rules, the result being determined by skill, strength, or chance
3.
a single period of play in such a contest, sport, etc
4.
the score needed to win a contest
5.
a single contest in a series; match
6.
(pl; often capital) an event consisting of various sporting contests, esp in athletics: Olympic Games, Highland Games
7.
equipment needed for playing certain games
8.
short for computer game
9.
style or ability in playing a game: he is a keen player but his game is not good
10.
a scheme, proceeding, etc, practised like a game: the game of politics
11.
an activity undertaken in a spirit of levity; joke: marriage is just a game to him
12.
  1. wild animals, including birds and fish, hunted for sport, food, or profit
  2. (as modifier): game laws
13.
the flesh of such animals, used as food: generally taken not to include fish
14.
an object of pursuit; quarry; prey (esp in the phrase fair game)
15.
(informal) work or occupation
16.
(informal) a trick, strategy, or device: I can see through your little game
17.
(obsolete) pluck or courage; bravery
18.
(slang, mainly Brit) prostitution (esp in the phrase on the game)
19.
give the game away, to reveal one's intentions or a secret
20.
make game of, make a game of, to make fun of; ridicule; mock
21.
off one's game, playing badly
22.
on one's game, playing well
23.
play the game, to behave fairly or in accordance with rules
24.
the game is up, there is no longer a chance of success
adjective
25.
(informal) full of fighting spirit; plucky; brave
26.
(Austral, informal) game as Ned Kelly, as game as Ned Kelly, extremely brave; indomitable
27.
(usually foll by for) (informal) prepared or ready; willing: I'm game for a try
verb
28.
(intransitive) to play games of chance for money, stakes, etc; gamble
Derived Forms
gamelike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English gamen; related to Old Norse gaman, Old High German gaman amusement

game2

/ɡeɪm/
adjective
1.
a less common word for lame1 game leg
Word Origin
C18: probably from Irish cam crooked
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 play the game

game

n.

Old English gamen "game, joy, fun, amusement," common Germanic (cf. Old Frisian game "joy, glee," Old Norse gaman, Old Saxon, Old High German gaman "sport, merriment," Danish gamen, Swedish gamman "merriment"), regarded as identical with Gothic gaman "participation, communion," from Proto-Germanic *ga- collective prefix + *mann "person," giving a sense of "people together."

Meaning "contest played according to rules" is first attested c.1300. Sense of "wild animals caught for sport" is late 13c.; hence fair game (1825), also gamey. Game plan is 1941, from U.S. football; game show first attested 1961.

adj.

"lame," 1787, from north Midlands dialect, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of gammy (tramps' slang) "bad," or from Old North French gambe "leg" (see gambol (n.)).

"brave, spirited," 1725, especially in game-cock "bird for fighting," from game (n.). Middle English had gamesome (adj.) "joyful, playful, sportive."

v.

Old English gamenian "to play, jest, joke;" see game (n.). Modern usages probably represent recent formations from the noun. Related: Gamed; gaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for play the game

game

noun

One's occupation; business; racket: He's in the computer game these days (1860s+)

Related Terms

ahead of the game, badger game, ball game, con game, floating crap game, the name of the game, on one's game, play games, skin game, a whole new ball game, a whole 'nother


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with play the game

play the game

Behave according to accepted customs, obey the rules. For example, Not every foreign company can be counted on to play the game. The game here alludes to a sport with a set of rules. [ Late 1800s ]
Also see: play games
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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