noun[mass noun] US informal
A boxing tactic of pretending to be trapped against the ropes, goading an opponent to throw tiring ineffective punches.
- Drawing upon other-worldly fortitude and raw courage, Ali simply outlasted Foreman, with his rope-a-dope tactics, before knocking him out in the eighth round.
- Perhaps they're attempting a footballing version of Muhammad Ali's famous rope-a-dope?
- If you caught the Roy Jones Jr. fight last night you saw his rope-a-dope, ‘chicken wing ‘work to perfection right before sending his opponent to the canvas with a huge right hand.
1970s: coined by Muhammad Ali, referring to a tactic in a boxing match with George Foreman.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: rope-a-dope
Definition of rope-a-dope in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.