noun, lot·tery often attributive \ˈlä-tə-rē also ˈlä-trē\
: a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., in which many tickets are sold and a few of the tickets are chosen by chance to win prizes
: a system used to decide who will get or be given something by choosing names or numbers by chance
: an event or situation in which what happens is decided by luck or chance
a : a drawing of lots in which prizes are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chance
b : a drawing of lots used to decide something
: an event or affair whose outcome is or seems to be determined by chance
defined for English-language learners
Examples of LOTTERY
- They held a lottery to determine who could get a green card.
- Room assignments are determined by lottery.
- Life's a lottery, isn't it? It all depends on luck.
Origin of LOTTERY
Middle French loterie,
from Middle Dutch, from lot
lot; akin to Old English hlot
First Known Use: 1567
: a way of raising money in which many tickets are sold and a few of these are drawn to win prizes