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


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

To up the ante on the popular hairstyle, and to get the details for recreating this reimagined look, keep reading. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "NYFW Get The Look: The Festival Hair At Chromat," 9 Sep. 2019 Despite upping their ante, Kamalvandi said Iran will allow U.N. inspectors to continue to monitor nuclear sites. Fox News, "Iran threatens higher uranium enrichment as stockpile ‘quickly increasing,’ official says," 8 Sep. 2019 An unidentified French club upped the ante to $4 million. Brian Straus,, "Aaron's Long Road: USMNT, Red Bulls Center Back's Unlikely Journey," 4 Sep. 2019 State transportation commissioners agreed and voted to up the ante., "Oregon will spend $9 million on new Interstate Bridge project," 16 Aug. 2019 The bidding war for Sky, the European pay-TV service, heated up Wednesday when Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox upped its ante and, late in the day, Comcast Corp. countered with an even higher offer. Meg James,, "Comcast offers $34 billion for Sky TV, topping a bid from Fox," 11 July 2018 In the way that the Nikes and Adidases of the world are upping their fashion ante, so too, now, is Li-Ning. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Li-Ning Is the Chinese Sportswear Brand You Need To Know," 21 June 2018 Many even upped their usual sartorial ante, knowing that their images could very well end up on the pages of Vogue, the Social Spectator, and, of course, Town & Country. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "High Society Photographer Bert Morgan Chronicled the Hamptons' Smart Set Before Everything Changed," 13 June 2018 Last year, Sue and Lester wrote a $1 million check to the not-for-profit institution; weeks later, the couple upped their own ante by announcing a $14 million matching grant toward the museum's expansion. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "President George W. Bush gets candid at Holocaust Museum Houston's record $4.2 million dinner," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 If bondholders accept the revised debt plan, the airline will have until November of 2021 and February of 2022 to pay, rather than being forced to ante up this December and next August. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Norwegian Air Is Taking Last-Ditch Measures to Avoid Bankruptcy," 4 Sep. 2019 First, every taxpaying American already antes up for war: roughly 24 cents of every tax dollar goes to defense (with more of that going to military contractors than to troops); another 6 cents goes to veterans’ benefits. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "Beto O’Rourke’s “War Tax” Is Classic Democratic Militarism," 25 June 2019 En 2017, antes de que pudiera concluir un proyecto de revitalización cultural negra a 50 años, Juan García murió después de sufrir linfoma y una hemorragia cerebral masiva. Charles David Kleymeyer, Smithsonian, "Meet Juan García Salazar, the Man Who Championed Black Identity in Ecuador," 14 June 2019 Which is what led the commission to ante up for the new routes. Roy S. Johnson |,, "Johnson: Restoration of public transit to residents means those who most need the bus can finally ride one," 9 June 2019 What Miracle Performance has done, ante up for one of the best but also most underappreciated pieces of exercise equipment, others can do, too. Zachary Lewis,, "Miracle Performance enters VersaClimber arena with ‘MP Climb’: Stretching Out," 7 June 2019 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

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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Dictionary Entries near ante


ant cattle

ant cow





Statistics for ante

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

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


\ 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ante

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ante

Spanish Central: Translation of ante

Nglish: Translation of ante for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ante for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ante

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to be made up of

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