Definition of manoeuvre in English:


Line breaks: man|oeuvre
Pronunciation: /məˈnuːvə
(US maneuver)


  • 1A movement or series of moves requiring skill and care: snowboarders performed daring manoeuvres on precipitous slopes
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    • The skill required in such a manoeuvre is not to be underestimated, especially in a tight skirt and four inch heels.
    • Anyone who examines the route taken by Hanjour will see that it required a complex manoeuvre by an experienced pilot.
    • Disturbances can occur while a fish is at rest, when swimming forwards and backwards, and during maneuvers while moving in either direction.
    operation, exercise, activity, move, movement, action
  • 1.1A carefully planned or cunning scheme or action: shady financial manoeuvres
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    • It would seem a shame to turn down such a cunning manoeuvre without a compelling need.
    • He has suggested that such tactical maneuvers could backfire.
    • Other financial maneuvers can be made that hurt small unsecured creditors by leaving less money on the table.
  • 1.2 [mass noun] The fact or process of taking carefully planned or cunning action: the economic policy provided no room for manoeuvre
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    • Consumers have borrowed up to the hilt, leaving little room for manoeuvre should times get seriously tough.
    • And the Christmas launch date appeared to leave the company little room for manoeuvre should anything go wrong.
    • In such circumstances, there would be some room for manoeuvre on interest rates.
  • 2 (manoeuvres) A large-scale military exercise of troops, warships, and other forces: the Russian vessel was on manoeuvres
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    • Colourful uniforms had been replaced by khaki; heroic charges and defences by long-range shelling; and sweeping military manoeuvres by trench warfare.
    • I spent 40 years in the Army, about six of them separated from my family and perhaps a couple more on maneuvers, training exercises and temporary duty.
    • But its demands for regime change and its military manoeuvres are increasing tensions at the same time.

verb (manoeuvres, manoeuvring, manoeuvred)

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  • 1Move skilfully or carefully: [no object]: the lorry was unable to manoeuvre comfortably in the narrow street [with object and adverbial of direction]: she tried to manoeuvre her trolley round people
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    • A special tube is inserted into the patient's leg or arm and carefully manoeuvred to the artery needing attention.
    • These can range from narrow aisles to inadequate toilet facilities but for William his biggest headache is finding a suitable shopping trolley he can manoeuvre himself.
    • The strain, as a punter tries to manoeuvre a fully laden trolley around the end of an aisle is just colossal.
    steer, guide, drive, negotiate, navigate, pilot, direct, manipulate, move, work, jockey
  • 2 [with object and adverbial] Carefully guide or manipulate (someone or something) in order to achieve an end: they were manoeuvring him into betraying his friend
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    • They are forever busy manipulating and maneuvering situations to their advantage.
    • In response, she sought to manoeuvre his own people ahead of his supporters in the lists.
    • Along the way he's manoeuvred a group of marginal seat holders into more powerful positions.
    intrigue, plot, scheme, plan, lay plans, conspire, pull strings; North American pull wires
    rare machinate
  • 2.1 [no object] Manipulate a situation to achieve an end: [with infinitive]: Rann was manoeuvring to elope with the girl
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    • We have no confidence in its leaders, who've manipulated and maneuvered against our civic initiate for years.
    • No wonder the pre-election atmosphere can now be felt, particularly because the political elite have started maneuvering to serve their own and their groups' interests.
    • As interest groups stepped up their lobbying, the political parties continued maneuvering in advance of a potential Senate vote to bar the filibusters.
    manipulate, contrive, manage, engineer, devise, plan, plot, fix, organize, arrange, set up, orchestrate, choreograph, stage-manage
    informal wangle



More example sentences
  • It is the operators and maneuverers who survive these deals, not the people doing the work.
  • This apparently convenient handle is more slippery than its maneuverers tend to appreciate.
  • With such a large roster, a lot of manoeuvrers have to be eliminated so as not to step on someone else's toes.


mid 18th century (as a noun in the sense 'tactical movement'): from French manœuvre (noun), manœuvrer (verb), from medieval Latin manuoperare from Latin manus 'hand' + operari 'to work'.

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Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman