zero-sum game

Definition

Situation or interaction in which one participant's gains result only from another's equivalent losses.

Use zero-sum game in a sentence

You may find that you are in a zero-sum game and decide it is best to quit wasting all your time.

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It was a zero-sum game and I did not personally like it because it meant someone would lose and feel bad.

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The business deal was a zero-sum game as there was no way for both parties to benefit from the transaction.

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