I was watching Futurama and there was a scene where Fry tasted a steak and said it tasted gamy (or gamey). Now I've looked up on several dictionaries and they all state that in the context of meat it describes a strong flavor or odor of game. However when I lookup the aforementioned word game and it's plethora of definitions there isn't a single definition that relates to any form of meat or even food for that matter. What does this game exactly mean?

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    Game is hunting prey, typically birds. But in Africa lions my bad Cecil was killed by a trophy hunter. Jan 12, 2018 at 21:30
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    Here is a link to wikipedia's description of game in terms of hunting en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_(hunting) Jan 12, 2018 at 21:32
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    You mean "a steak".
    – Centaurus
    Jan 13, 2018 at 0:40
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    Could you please specify which dictionaries you consulted and what the concrete senses that seemed mismatched were there? It seems unlikely that this would not have been covered in them.
    – tchrist
    Jan 13, 2018 at 21:54

3 Answers 3


This probably goes without saying, but it hasn't been directly addressed by any of the existing answers.

The word game, which originally and primarily means roughly a form of amusement, evolved to mean meat by way of hunting as a form of amusement.

OED definition 15 walks the line between the original meaning and the meaning referring to hunted meat.

15. Originally: †entertainment derived from the chase (obs.). In later use: the sport of hunting and shooting (or otherwise catching or killing) animals, birds, etc., as a countryside pursuit.

From there it took on the meaning referred to here, which developed the adjectival form gamey.

The flesh of a game animal or game bird used as food.

This form is first attested in 1658.


Gamy is an alternative spellings of gamey :

also gamy, 1844....Meaning "tasting or smelling strongly" is from 1863.

From game:

"the sport of hunting, fishing, hawking, or fowling" (c. 1300), thus "wild animals caught for sport" (c. 1300).



Game in this context means:

a. Wild animals hunted for food or sport.

b. The flesh of these animals, eaten as food.

Source https://www.thefreedictionary.com/game (Look at the #9 definition)

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