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 In response, many women have upped the ante, using their signs to call out the National Archives and, of course, Trump himself. Lydia Wang,, "From “Thank U, Next” To Tossing A Coin To Your Witcher, These Women’s March Signs Are Marvelous," 18 Jan. 2020 Last week, the Rydman family - who owns Spec's and hosts the annual bash - upped the ante on their own party. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "VIP view: Rapper 50 Cent surprises Vintage Virtuoso guests at Spec's annual holiday party," 10 Dec. 2019 On one hand, the use of Instagram filters and growing ubiquity of cosmetic treatments has, for many, upped the ante on turning back the hands of time. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Nature’s Botox and Filler? Yes, They Exist, Says Green Beauty Expert Tata Harper," 21 Oct. 2019 Guldenschuh is one of them, writing: Another user wrote: Potter upped the ante on his generosity last week, donating a kidney to a stranger after seeing on Reddit that a Pittsburgh father of two was in need of a transplant. Allison Klein, Anchorage Daily News, "Pittsburgh man known for acts of kindness donates kidney," 24 Aug. 2019 Guldenschuh is one of them, writing: And there are many others: Potter upped the ante on his generosity last week, donating a kidney to a stranger after seeing on Reddit that a Pittsburgh father of two was in need of a transplant. Allison Klein, Washington Post, "This man was already a legend for committing extreme acts of kindness. Then he gave a stranger a kidney.," 22 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Target upped the ante on its rival by hitting $13 an hour in June, which is part of a commitment to reach $15 by 2020. Scott Lanman, Fortune, "Stores sweeten wages and benefits amid tightening labor market," 5 Aug. 2019 Other fintechs have been upping the ante on their savings products, hoping to attract deposits from bigger banks and grow their customer base. Janna Herron, USA TODAY, "Betterment jumps into savings war with 2.69% APY. Checking is next.," 23 July 2019 That particular brand of humor is a big part of what’s missing from the series’ latest installment, Men In Black: International, a modern update that ups the ante on the special effects and takes the action around the world. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Men In Black: International is safe, bland, utterly sincere fun," 12 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Indeed, as long as fans exhibit a willingness to ante up for the initial rush of recognition that these projects provide, producers and studios will eagerly seek to fill the void. Brian Lowry, CNN, "For 'Breaking Bad' and 'Downton Abbey,' 'the end' wasn't," 9 Oct. 2019 Some models also gave a peek of gold grillz to ante up the edge of their beauty looks. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "The Dominatrix Ponytails At Maki Oh Are Red Carpet Awards Season Ready," 10 Sep. 2019 Strategists are divided —These are the 2020 senate races to watch —Warren ups her climate plan ante to $3 trillion —MSNBC climate change forum will give a voice to those denied the DNC debate stage —Is Biden preparing to lose in Iowa? Amanda Seitz, Fortune, "False Claims Blur Line Between Mass Shootings, 2020 Politics," 5 Sep. 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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Statistics for ante

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ante.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 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

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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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