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(zîr′ō-sŭm′, zē′rō-)
Of or relating to a situation in which a gain is offset by an equal loss: "Under the zero-sum budgeting system that governs federal spending, the money for spinal research is likely to be deducted from some other research account" (Daniel S. Greenburg).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


relating to a situation in which one person's loss is equal to the other person's gain
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


denoting an element of game theory in which the amount lost is always equal to the amount gained: a zero-sum economy.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that a nuclear shadow was hovering over South Asia, urging the Indian government to move out of a zero-sum mindset so dialogue on Kashmir could begin.
Qamar Javed Bajwa rightly said that Pakistan wants peace and integration in the region as it does not believe in zero-sum games.
The alternative to a "multi-bilateral" trade order may be a world hurtling faster toward zero-sum trade relations, with the long-running tantrum between Beijing and Washington descending into a full-blown economic war.
Summary: Currency exchange rates, as we know, is a zero-sum game - one currency has to lose for the other to gain.
This outcome can be attributed to the zero-sum game that ODM party leader Raila Odinga engaged in when he chose the handshake over standing for truth and fighting the ills of the current regime as the undisputed opposition leader.
When people perceive themselves as living in a "zero-sum" world, they see a finite number of goodies for which we all compete.
What was meant to be a mission to find compromise, instantly became a zero-sum game.
China and the United States can compete but should not view each other with a Cold War mentality and should avoid falling into a zero-sum game trap, the Chinese government's top diplomat said, amid deteriorating ties between the superpowers.
The crucial economic question, therefore, whether individual jobs they increasingly perform a zero-sum distributive function, whereby the dedication of ever more skill, effort, and technology cannot increase human welfare, given the skill, effort, and technology applied on the other side of the competitive game.
12, history professor Jim Lee said Chiang's zero-sum mindset has led to Taiwan's diplomatic isolation today, according to a UDN report.
"There are forces and leaders in our country who blatantly incite people with hateful rhetoric, who stoke fear of change, [and who] see the world in zero-sum terms so if others are gaining, then everyone else must be losing.