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illustration Gambit



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Italian, mid-17th century


An act or remark that is calculated to gain an advantage, especially at the outset of a situation.


(In chess) an opening move in which a player makes a sacrifice, typically of a pawn, for the sake of a compensating advantage.

Examples of Gambit in a sentence

"The campaign felt the opponent’s op-ed was more of a gambit than a heartfelt message."

"Otis liked to use different gambits against opponents when he played chess."

About Gambit

This word, originally spelled “gambett,” comes from the Italian “gambetto,” meaning “tripping up.” This stems from the Late Latin “gamba,” meaning “leg.”

Did you Know?

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a 1983 book that was recently adapted into a popular Netflix miniseries. Both iterations follow chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s journey to becoming an elite chess player during the mid-20th century while battling a host of personal obstacles. The title refers to a common chess opening where white appears to sacrifice the c-pawn. However, some consider this gambit to be a misnomer since black cannot retain the pawn without incurring a disadvantage.

illustration Gambit

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