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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
a ˈwaiting gamea policy of delaying making a decision or doing something because this puts you in a stronger position: They’re playing a waiting game, delaying their offer until they know what the others are offering.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017