an·​te | \ ˈan-tē How to pronounce ante (audio) \

Definition of ante

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a poker stake usually put up before the deal to build the pot The dealer called for a dollar ante.
2a : cost, price These improvements would raise the ante.
b : risk, stakes The new law ups the ante on tax cheats.
c : a level (as of achievement or intensity) regarded especially as a goal or standard a film that ups the ante on special effects


anted; anteing

Definition of ante (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to put up (an ante) also : pay, produce usually used with up had to ante up five thousand dollars to attend the senator's banquet

intransitive verb

: pay up usually used with up The dealer waited until everyone had anted up before he dealt the cards.



Definition of ante- (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : prior : earlier antedate
b : anterior : forward anteroom
2 : prior to : earlier than antediluvian

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Examples of ante in a Sentence

Noun the base price is $500, but any additional repairs will up the ante Verb Did everyone at the table ante? Everyone anted up a dollar.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The brand has upped the ante and upgraded the formula for The Rich Cream (the denser, more hydrating version of the cult original) for 2021. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Why Augustinus Bader's The Cream Is Worth It," 28 Apr. 2021 But Biden met that goal on day 58 and upped the ante -- doubling the target to 200 million shots in 100 days, and then exceeding that number as well. Ashley Semler, CNN, "Inside Biden's make-or-break first 100 days battling the Covid pandemic," 26 Apr. 2021 In Alaska, Van Gyn upped the ante yet again in the final against Sadowski-Synnott. Michelle Bruton, Forbes, "Natural Selection Tour Winners Mikkel Bang And Robin Van Gyn Talk Winning Runs, Snowboarding’s Future," 16 Apr. 2021 The series ups the ante, maybe because spoofing something published in 2011 would not feel as au courant in 2021. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Made for Love Puts a Marriage Under the Microscope," 8 Apr. 2021 The promise of a starring role for the great Bob Odenkirk as a mousy man with … skills just ups the ante. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Bob Odenkirk as a mousy man with a secret set of skills is the best thing about 'Nobody'," 22 Mar. 2021 JoJo ups the ante by explaining to the men that a rose this week will be their ticket to a hometown date and an opportunity to introduce Tayshia to their families. Ben Flanagan |, al, "‘The Bachelorette’ Episode 9 | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 8 Dec. 2020 The singer’s new album — his first since 2017’s Jardin — ups the ante, with Garzón-Montano splitting himself into three characters. Malcolm-aimé Musoni,, "Gabriel Garzón-Montano on being influenced by Prince, feeling stuck, and his new album Agüita," 13 Nov. 2020 Schroeter ups the ante by visually quoting photographs of Bachmann and, by staging the movie’s final half hour in a fiery apartment, referring to Bachmann’s own tragic death. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, "Fall Films to Stream," 5 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These are the matching funds available through workplace 401(k)-style funds that employers ante up to encourage workers to invest. Russ Wiles, USA TODAY, "New investors beware: The easy money you made in the stock market probably won't continue," 18 Apr. 2021 Supporters remain hopeful the state will ante up in some fashion to help foot the bill for both projects. Janet Moore, Star Tribune, "Biden plan could boost Amtrak potential to Chicago, Duluth," 10 Apr. 2021 If the unions don't ante up voluntarily, then the unions should be sued for the appropriate amount. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: George Floyd settlement, violence at 38th and Chicago, Derek Chauvin's trial," 15 Mar. 2021 Harry Styles’s face mask in the same yellow plaid as his classic Gucci suit would have been enough on its own—but a lilac feather boa was on call to up the glam rock ante a little further. Liam Hess, Vogue, "The Ultimate Grammys Accessory This Year? Coordinating Masks," 14 Mar. 2021 And the school has no shortage of donors who would ante up to buy out Harbaugh and chart a new course. J. Brady Mccollough Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Michigan shouldn’t give Jim Harbaugh a pandemic pardon," 28 Nov. 2020 But be prepared to ante up some serious cash, as the starting price is $112,595. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM reveals its GMC Hummer EV pickup and prices it more than $100,000," 21 Oct. 2020 If your style is elegance, ante up the extra bucks for the 5000. Steve Smith, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1980 Audi 4000 Needs to Cook a Little Longer," 14 Aug. 2020 Those who never wanted to ante up for a real silk pillowcase may be swayed by this incredible price point. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "Top-rated silk pillowcases that will instantly upgrade your bed," 6 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ante.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ante


1821, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1831, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for ante


borrowed from Latin ante "before, preceding" — more at ante-


verbal derivative of ante entry 1


Middle English, from Latin, from ante before, in front of; akin to Old English and- against, Greek anti before, against — more at end

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ante.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ante



English Language Learners Definition of ante

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the amount of money that a player must bet at the beginning of play in a poker game



English Language Learners Definition of ante (Entry 2 of 3)

: to pay the amount of money required to start play in a poker game



English Language Learners Definition of ante- (Entry 3 of 3)

: before or earlier
: in front of


\ ˈan-ti \

Kids Definition of ante-

1 : before in time : earlier
2 : in front of anteroom

More from Merriam-Webster on ante

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ante

Nglish: Translation of ante for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ante for Arabic Speakers

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