1. An opening in chess in which the player risks one or more minor pieces, usually a pawn, in order to gain a favorable position.
2. A maneuver, stratagem, or opening remark, especially one intended to bring about a desired result.
[Ultimately from Spanish gambito, from Italian gambetto, act of tripping someone up in wrestling, from gamba, leg, from Old Italian; see GAMBOL.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.