Definition of gambit in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈɡambət/


1(In chess) an opening in which a player makes a sacrifice, typically of a pawn, for the sake of some compensating advantage.
Example sentences
  • By the time I was an ‘A’ player, gambits including the Smith-Morra were fully appreciated.
  • True fans of the gambit should consider this a challenge.
  • This book is geared toward the average player, but there is no discussion of gambit tries by white.
1.1A device, action, or opening remark, typically one entailing a degree of risk, that is calculated to gain an advantage: his resignation was a tactical gambit
More example sentences
  • The Australians believe it is a psychological gambit to use and gain advantage over the opposition.
  • The loser of this copycat election will lament all the strategic gambits that fell short in the end.
  • Assign your staff to build the sort of book on Russert's techniques, rhetorical gambits, and political obsessions that you'd want going into a debate with an opposing candidate.
stratagem, scheme, plan, tactic, maneuver, move, course/line of action, device;
machination, ruse, trick, ploy, wangle


Mid 17th century: originally gambett, from Italian gambetto, literally 'tripping up', from gamba 'leg'.

Words that rhyme with gambit

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.