waiting game

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waiting game

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.
See also: game, waiting
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a waiting game


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.
See also: game, waiting
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a ˈwaiting game

a 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.
See also: game, waiting
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Now, with M&A activity well off its highs and the IPO market virtually shut down, VCs are re-learning their old waiting game.
Fortunately for Shannon, he isn't like most people living the "single life." Many singles play the dating and waiting game. They wait to buy their dream home as they search for the perfect mate; they wait to start an investment plan hoping to earn the ideal salary; or they wait until a tragedy strikes, such as a disabling injury or job layoff, before they plan for the unexpected.
So it remains a waiting game as members of both the CDF and DZero collaborations continue sifting through their bale of data.
Many CEOs see their new direct reports as not just playing a waiting game, but as defensive and anxious to justify their past performance--in clear opposition to the board's decision to make changes.
The Cameron Lake project southeast of Kenora is playing a waiting game with the price of gold and the Duport Mine property on Shoal Lake is surrounded by controversy over fear of water contamination.
The problem for Dundee is they have to play the waiting game for the former Falkirk player before they know what league they'll be in next season.
Hours before welcoming the baby, Montero posted an update that said both of them were in 'the waiting game' in time to welcome their new bundle of joy.
playing Jovetic and his agent are playing the waiting game in the build-up to deadline day and he has interest from the clubs he spent last season on loan at last term in Sevilla and AS Roma - who both feel they can pay his PS90,000-per-week wages.
My daffodils of spring, soon to be gone back to the earth where they belong then the waiting game to play for a time in their sleep-state to stay waiting for spring in another year from their hiding place, again to stir that golden shadow of their own making a little time in our world of amazement, taking, bringing forth a year that will be new as nature, in her awesomeness, to do not to forget the snowdrops being there their whiteness of purity, with us to share blessed we are with so much to see God in all this wonder for us to be the awakening then the closing of that door of Earth and the giving from its store looking forward to what is to come a little of this and that for everyone.
A RECENT day trip to Wakefield turned into a waiting game as two buses came and went without access for a wheelchair user.
But Reprieve say it's now a waiting game to find out if the appeal will prove successful.
MALKY Mackay will play a waiting game when the new year sales start on Sunday.
But Welshman Hughes is prepared to play a waiting game.
BILLY Jones looked ahead to tonight's game at Everton admitting he was always likely to play the waiting game following his summer move to Albion.
For now, the man they call the "Lost Leader" is playing a patient waiting game on the backbenches.