zero-sum game

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zero-sum game

n.
A situation in which a gain by one person or side must be matched by a loss by another person or side: "It's not a zero-sum game in which either youth or pensioners must lose" (Earl W. Foell).

zero-sum game

n
(Mathematics) (in game theory) a contest in which one person's loss is equal to the other person's gain
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.zero-sum game - a game in which the total of all the gains and losses is zero
game - a contest with rules to determine a winner; "you need four people to play this game"
game theory, theory of games - (economics) a theory of competition stated in terms of gains and losses among opposing players
References in periodicals archive ?
Bringing the discussion to the catchphrase of Cold War mentality and zero sum games, China typically uses for US and Australia rings true.
Our ethnic zero sum game has fueled bigotry, emboldened impunity greed, corruption that undermines a sense of duty to our fellow citizens and corrodes community.
He told Gulf News: "Some of these have become zero sum games.
In the best case, public spending is a zero sum game, where they take money from us, and give it back.