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"planned movement of troops or warship," 1758, from French manoeuvre "manipulation, maneuver," from Old French manovre "manual labor" 13c.), from Medieval Latin manuopera (source of Spanish maniobra, Italian manovra), from manuoperare "work with the hands," from Latin manu operari, from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)) + operari "to work, operate" (see operation). The same word had been borrowed from French into Middle English in a sense "hand-labor" (late 15c.). General meaning "artful plan, adroit movement" is from 1774. Related: Maneuvers.
1777, from maneuver (n.), or else from French manœurvrer "work, work with one's hands; carry out, prepare" (12c.), from Medieval Latin manuoperare. Originally in a military sense. Figurative use from 1801. Related: Maneuvered; maneuvering.
maneuver ma·neu·ver (mə-nōō'vər, -nyōō'-)
A movement or procedure involving skill and dexterity. v. ma·neu·vered, ma·neu·ver·ing, ma·neu·vers
To manipulate into a desired position or toward a predetermined goal.