sandbag (somebody)

Meaning(s)

1. conceal or misrepresent something in order to gain an advantage

Popularity

High

Professional

Medium

Social

Check Icon How to Memorize

sandbag your opponents/rivals

Check Icon Analysis

This expression is mostly used in a professional context and is a strategy with the aim of lowering the expectations around something or someone in order to produce better-than-expected results. To do so, it is not always necessary to lie, you can instead withhold information, or be as conservative with your estimate as possible. In other words, only provide the worst-case scenario. In a social respect, it tends to be used in relation to betting or sport. As a verb to 'sandbag' someone is to deceive someone in order to get what you want or deliberately underperform in order to gain an advantage.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. The poker player sandbagged his opponents by losing his first few hands. He hoped they would raise the stakes if they saw him as less of a threat.
  2. sandbagged my opponents in the first part of the race and then shot into the lead when they were running out of stamina.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. The deal is very close to being completed, but to make myself look better, I decided to sandbag my boss by telling her that it could take weeks to get it over the line
  2. The company earned a reputation for sandbagging by consistently low-balling its projected earnings in order to temper shareholders' expectations.

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