Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
play a waiting game
To postpone or delay a decision or course of action so as to first see what might happen or what one's opponent(s) might do. The market is so tumultuous at the moment that I think we're better off playing a waiting game, rather than making any hasty decisions. The prosecution is playing a waiting game to see if the defendant will change her mind about taking the plea bargain.
A situation where one postpones or delays a decision or course of action so as to first see what might happen or what one's opponent(s) might do. (Often used in the phrase "play a/the waiting game.") The prosecution has submitted a plea bargain to the defendant, so it's a bit of a waiting game at the moment to see if she will take it. The market is rather tumultuous at the moment, so I think we're better off playing the waiting game rather than making any hasty decisions.
a waiting gameor
the waiting game
COMMON If you talk about a waiting game or the waiting game, you mean a situation in which someone delays making decisions or taking action because they are waiting to see how the situation develops. For now, it's a waiting game to see what they do next. We can see why Mr Jackson prefers the waiting game, keeping as many options open as possible. Note: People often say that they play a waiting game. I propose to play a waiting game, and hope that a few of the pieces of this puzzle will soon begin to fit together.