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 upThe 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 Uttar Pradesh then upped the ante by offering similar incentives for three years to all firms, not just new ones. The Economist, "Let them eat structural reform! Indian states are rushing to undo laws protecting workers," 18 May 2020 This week, Netflix upped the ante even more with another bingeable, oddly relevant dating show: Too Hot To Handle. Lydia Wang,, "How Old Are The Too Hot To Handle Cast Members?," 27 Apr. 2020 This version for Nintendo Switch and lets up to eight people play at once, and offers a range of new play options to up the ante. Popular Science, "The three most entertaining Nintendo Switch games," 23 Apr. 2020 Fast forward a couple of weeks to Monday afternoon and President Trump upped the ante, saying gatherings of more than ten people should be limited. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "Conference swag companies crushed by coronavirus cancellations: More hand sanitizer, please," 17 Mar. 2020 Of course, the zombies have evolved to be harder to kill, upping the ante for the final inevitable confrontation. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Zombies have evolved to be harder to kill in Zombieland 2: Double Tap trailer," 25 July 2019 After facing torrents of richly deserved scorn for its stinginess, the second-largest economy in world upped its ante to about $2 million, nearly matching the $2.7 million donation from geopolitical powerhouse Ikea. Mike Watson, National Review, "China’s Mask Mercantilism," 23 Mar. 2020 Then, Zelaya and the Tigers upped the ante on the Mustangs in the second quarter. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Millennium routs Sunrise Mountain for second consecutive 5A state girls basketball championship," 2 Mar. 2020 Toss a handful into noodles, salads, grain bowls, and watch how a little extra crunch (and, well, nutty flavor) ups the ante on your meal. Bon Appétit, "The Bon Appétit Guide to Actually Enjoying Your Lunch at Work," 7 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Of course, Thuney would likely have to switch to the right side, and the Browns will have to ante up. cleveland, "Case Keenum as the ideal backup to Baker Mayfield, letting Joe Schobert walk, and other Browns takes from NFL combine week," 3 Mar. 2020 But the bell in Big Ben will not ring; the government decided not to ante up the 500,000 pounds ($650,000) necessary to make the bell usable during renovations of the Houses of Parliament. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Britain’s Brexit Shrug: Let’s Just Get On With It," 31 Jan. 2020 The Giants don’t appear to be anteing up, and if Juan Marichal can be a Dodger, couldn’t anybody? John Shea,, "Why Madison Bumgarner to Dodgers would make sense (sorry, Giants fans)," 6 Dec. 2019 Supera el récord de Beckham que necesito 124 segundos para anotar en su debut liguero ante el Real Betis (30 agosto 2003)., "Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Rodrygo's Debut Goal Sends Los Blancos Top," 25 Sep. 2019 Of course, given that the cultish devotion the project has generated among fans willing to ante up for subscriptions represents the holy grail of the streaming-TV age, an encore is likely in order. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Watchmen' connects its threads in a strange but satisfying finale," 15 Dec. 2019 Una detección temprana detiene la cadena de transmisión; frena el virus antes. Brett Clarkson,, "Today is World AIDS Day. In Florida and around the world, here’s what they’re saying on social media.," 1 Dec. 2019 At KLM Farms in Alturas, grower Jerry Mixon anted up and rolled the dice to save his ailing farm. Washington Post, "The end of Florida orange juice? A lethal disease is devastating the state’s citrus industry.," 9 Nov. 2019 For example, circa for approximately and ante for before are written as single letters, c and a, immediately before dates, such as c1200 (around 1200). Anthony Grant, Quartz, "‘Quid pro quo’ is more legalese than Latin," 25 Nov. 2019

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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ante.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for ante


How to pronounce ante- (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ante

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ante

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ante

Spanish Central: Translation of ante

Nglish: Translation of ante for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ante for Arabic Speakers

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