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1. Relating to or being a strategy in boxing in which one fighter covers up and often leans back against the ropes to allow the opponent to become exhausted by throwing punches so that the opponent cannot defend effectively late in the fight and is thus defeated.
2. Relating to or being a strategy in which one behaves passively or with little aggression until an opportune moment arises for successful action.
A rope-a-dope strategy or course of action.
[Coined by Muhammad Ali in reference to his strategy in defeating the younger George Foreman for the heavyweight title in 1974.]
a. a method of tiring out a boxing opponent by pretending to be trapped on the ropes while the opponent expends energy on punches that are blocked
b. (as modifier): rope-a-dope strategy.
[C20: coined by Muhammad Ali]