Meaning of “game” in the English Dictionary

"game" in English

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uk /ɡeɪm/ us /ɡeɪm/


A1 [ C ] an entertaining activity or sport, especially one played by children, or the equipment needed for such an activity:

a board game
The children played a game of cops and robbers.
I told the children to put their toys and games away.

[ C ] one part of a competition in activities such as tennis:

I won the first game, and then lost the next two.
games [ plural ]

UK also physical education, PE organized sports activities that children do at school:

the games teacher
It's games this afternoon.

an organized competition consisting of several different sports events:

[ U ] the way in which a person plays a particular sport:

Susan is playing golf every day to try to improve her game.

[ S ] something that is not treated seriously:

Love is just a game to him.

More examples

game noun (ACTIVITY)

[ S ] informal an illegal or secret activity

[ S ] old-fashioned informal a type of business activity:

I'm in the stocks and shares game.
on the game

UK informal working as a prostitute:

She went on the game to pay for her drug habit.

US informal involved in illegal activities

game noun (ANIMALS)

[ U ] wild animals and birds that are hunted for food or sport:

game birds


uk /ɡeɪm/ us /ɡeɪm/

gameverb [ T ]

/ɡeɪm/ /ɡeɪm/ US

to use the rules of a system in order to get what you want, in a way that is slightly dishonest:

State education officials deny that they are gaming the system by making their tests easier.

(Definition of “game” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"game" in American English

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us /ɡeɪm/


[ C ] an entertaining activity, esp. one played by children, or a sports competition:

The kids are playing a computer game.
I told the children to put away their toys and games (= equipment for an entertaining activity).
Search dogs do an important job, but it’s just a game to the dog (= something that is done for fun).
Not telling the whole truth is one of the games that people play (= one of the ways in which they behave in order to get an advantage).

[ C ] In some activities such as tennis, a game is one part of a competition:

I’m ahead, 3 games to 2.

game noun (ANIMALS)

[ U ] wild animals and birds that are hunted for food or sport:

Deer and pheasant are types of game.


us /ɡeɪm/

game adjective (WILLING)

willing to do something, esp something different, new, or slightly dangerous:

The ocean water’s cold but I’m going in anyway – are you game?

(Definition of “game” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"game" in Business English

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gamenoun [ S ]

uk /ɡeɪm/ us informal

a particular type of business activity:

I'm in the stocks and shares game.
be ahead of the game

to know more about what is happening in a particular area of business than the people or companies you are competing against:

Our research and development program ensures that we're ahead of the game.
be new to the/this game informal

to be involved in an activity or situation that you have not experienced before:

The company is new to the political advertising game.
the game is up

used to tell someone that you know what their secret activities or plans are and that they cannot continue:

It is a characteristic of disgraced business leaders that they can never quite accept that the game is up.

(Definition of “game” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)