an·te | \ˈan-tē \

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


the base price is $500, but any additional repairs will up the ante


Did everyone at the table ante? Everyone anted up a dollar.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the president raised the ante to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods. Fortune, "Trump Plows Ahead on Threat to Impose Tariffs on $50 Billion in Chinese Imports," 29 May 2018 The Cleveland Foundation sponsored the competition with a $93,000 grant intended to raise the ante on the design. Steven Litt,, "Cleveland Public Library unveils 3 competing proposals for new MLK Library in University Circle (photos)," 10 May 2018 Wearing your underwear raises the ante on the infraction. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "It’s time for these roommates to air their dirty laundry," 3 May 2018 Wearing your underwear raises the ante on the infraction. Amy Dickinson,, "It's time for these roommates to air their dirty laundry," 3 May 2018 Wearing your underwear raises the ante on the infraction. Amy Dickinson,, "It’s time for these roommates to air their dirty laundry," 1 May 2018 Amazon, the world’s most valuable retailer, will begin delivering groceries from its Whole Foods Market stores in the Houston area, upping the ante in an already hyper-competitive grocery market. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Grocery wars: Amazon offers home delivery in latest battle for Houston shoppers," 25 June 2018 Just in case there weren't enough dad sneakers in your life, DSquared2 is upping the ante on the unexpected trend. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "DSquared2 Debuts Dad Sneaker Wedges During Milan Fashion Week," 20 June 2018 At long last, spring has arrived, and while the bright sunshine and balmier temperatures naturally inject life into winter-weary complexions, there’s no denying that the season ups the ante on maintaining a clear, healthy-looking glow. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Supercharged Skin Elixir Is the Ultimate Spring Beauty Hack," 28 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Golden State Warriors, winners of three of the past four championships, also have anted-up, and remain stacked. Nick Canepa,, "Latest star Laker? Yeah, just forgot all the early great ones," 7 July 2018 No se lo voy a poner tan fácil, desobedecer es legítimo y obligación ante este estado fascista. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Spanish Rapper Valtonyc Reportedly Flees Country to Avoid Prison Sentence For Lyrics 'Glorifying Terrorism'," 24 May 2018 Pero sus hinchas en lugar de festejar a minutos de terminado el partido, se encargan de limpiar su sector antes de retirarse. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Japanese, Senegalese World Cup fans clean up stadium after matches," 20 June 2018 The plan then is to double down on speed with the offense, while attempting to ante up with toughness on defense. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Decoding the overhauled Chiefs, and Brett Veach's first offseason | The Kansas City Star," 5 May 2018 The other participants have got to ante up and this is their neighborhood. Fox News, "Gowdy and Scott on Mueller probe, new book," 3 Apr. 2018 Se habían reunido para pescar a lo largo del Eau Gallie Causeway dos días antes del cumpleaños 25 de Viccaro. Erika Pasantes Y John Maines, El Sentinel, "Tendencia mortal: Textear y manejar. Aumentan accidentes," 6 Feb. 2018 The process meant tracking down property owners, anteing up cash to buy the homes and renovate and finding stable renters who, in some cases, turned into homeowners. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Virginia Park Historic District gets house-by-house makeover," 14 Apr. 2018 Lo and behold, Little Caesars had to ante up when the UMBC Retrievers beat the Virginia Cavaliers 74-54 on March 16. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "Lines gather for free pizza at Little Caesars in Dearborn, Detroit," 2 Apr. 2018

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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Learn More about ante

Dictionary Entries near ante


ant cattle

ant cow





Phrases Related to ante

raise the ante

up the ante

Statistics for ante

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ante

The first known use of ante was in 1821

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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



Kids Definition of ante-

1 : before in time : earlier

2 : in front of anteroom

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Comments on ante

What made you want to look up ante? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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