zero-sum game

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zero-sum game

[′zir·ō ¦səm ‚gām]
(mathematics)
A two-person game where the sum of the payoffs to the two players is zero for each move.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

zero-sum game

any game or analogous social situation in which what one player or side loses the other gains (Von Neumann and Morgenstein, 1947). See also THEORY OF GAMES, PRISONERS’ DILEMMA.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000