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

The smart hotel chains are finally upping the ante too. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Biomarkers, Sweat Lodges, and Shamans: Today's Wellness Retreats Go Far Beyond a Detox," 26 Aug. 2019 Corden upped the ante by bringing on San Diego Zoo animal ambassador and zookeeper Rick Schwartz, who had some animal friends including a pair of alligators, a cougar and a skunk — the only animal that Ron truly fears. Dave Quinn,, "Ron Burgundy Is Back! Will Ferrell Reprises Iconic Anchorman Character on Every Late Night Show," 9 Aug. 2019 When the most recent round of talks produced no apparent progress, President Trump upped the ante by announcing new tariffs on the $300 billion in Chinese imports the U.S. hadn’t already taxed. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Choppy Waters Ahead for the U.S.-China Trade War," 8 Aug. 2019 A few years after West’s controversial Coachella fashion moment, Kid Cudi, who was an early signee to West’s GOOD music label, would up the ante, appearing on stage at the festival in a crop top. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "This Was the Decade That Hip-Hop Style Got Femme," 18 July 2019 Williams quickly raced ahead and when faced three straight break points serving at 5-1, the American again upped the ante and won five points in a row -- the last a thundering ace -- to see out the set. Matias Grez, CNN, "Serena Williams to face Simona Halep in Wimbledon final," 11 July 2019 Leal confessed that Tomas upped the ante from $35 per trip to $5,000, if Leal agreed to smuggle money or people across the border into the US. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Drug traffickers are recruiting smugglers on Facebook," 1 Aug. 2019 Warren has replicated Khazei’s challenge in her presidential campaign today, even upping the ante by refusing to do high-dollar fundraisers. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Why isn’t Elizabeth Warren more popular in Massachusetts?," 30 July 2019 And with the launch of a new, super-luxury train route, the country has seriously upped the ante. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Train Ride Through the Swiss Alps Is the Peak of Luxury," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Facebook and an additional four of the state’s biggest businesses — Google, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T — have already anted up $200,000 apiece to fight the initiative. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "Facebook fiasco boosts bid to put California crackdown on ballot," 1 Apr. 2018 Carried over from the current RAV4, the Adventure ups the truck ante further with larger tires and a different front bumper and grille design seemingly yanked right off the Tacoma pickup. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "2019 Toyota RAV4 / RAV4 Hybrid: Sales Champ Gets a Compelling Overhaul," 29 Mar. 2018 But Jacksonville was surprisingly willing to ante up. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Quarterbacks, wide receivers and a guard are NFL free agency's early winners," 13 Mar. 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

6 Sep 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

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recurring in steady succession

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