Open main menu


Alternative formsEdit


From Middle French manœuvre (manipulation, maneuver) and manouvrer (to maneuver), from Old French manovre (handwork, manual labor), from Medieval Latin manopera, manuopera (work done by hand, handwork), from manu (by hand) + operari (to work). First recorded in the Capitularies of Charlemagne (800 AD) to mean "chore, manual task", probably as a calque of the Frankish *handwerc (hand-work). Compare Old English handweorc, Old English handġeweorc, German Handwerk. The verb is a doublet of the verb manure.



maneuver (plural maneuvers) (American spelling)

  1. A movement, often one performed with difficulty.
    Parallel parking can be a difficult maneuver.
  2. (often in the plural) A large training field-exercise of military troops.
    The army was on maneuvers.
    Joint NATO maneuvers are as much an exercise in diplomacy as in tactics and logistics.
  3. An adroit or cunning action; a stratagem.
  4. (medicine) A specific medical or surgical movement, often eponymous, done with the doctor's hands or surgical instruments.
    The otorhinolaryngologist performed an Epley maneuver and the patient was relieved of his vertigo.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


maneuver (third-person singular simple present maneuvers, present participle maneuvering, simple past and past participle maneuvered) (American spelling)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To move (something, or oneself) carefully, and often with difficulty, into a certain position.
  2. (figuratively, transitive) To guide, steer, manage purposefully
  3. (figuratively, intransitive) To intrigue, manipulate, plot, scheme
    The patriarch maneuvered till his offspring occupied countless key posts