\ ˈbet How to pronounce bet (audio) \

Definition of bet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : something that is laid, staked, or pledged typically between two parties on the outcome of a contest or a contingent issue : wager often used figuratively in such phrases as all bets are off to stress the uncertainty of an outcome
b : the act of giving such a pledge
2 : something to wager on
3 : a choice made by consideration of probabilities your best bet is the back road


bet also betted; betting

Definition of bet (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to stake on the outcome of an issue or the performance of a contestant
b : to be able to be sure that usually used in the expression you bet you bet I'll be there
2a : to maintain with or as if with a bet
b : to make a bet with
c : to make a bet on

intransitive verb

: to lay a bet

Definition of bet (Entry 3 of 3)


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Synonyms for bet

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of bet in a Sentence

Noun He has a bet on the game. He made a bet with his brother that he could finish his chores first. He and his brother have a bet about who can finish his chores first. He lost the bet and had to pay his brother five dollars. His brother won the bet. He paid his brother five dollars to settle the bet. Verb He bet $5 on the game. I'll bet that he makes the next shot. He always bets that the favorite will win. He lost a lot of money by betting on college football and basketball. I bet against the favorite and I lost. I wouldn't bet against her. She's very likely to win this race. Carmakers are betting that people will want to buy larger, more expensive cars this year.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If the Legislature approves, the federal government must sign off on the deal, which some legal analysts don’t think is a sure bet. Skyler Swisher,, "Ante up: Florida’s gambling deal opens the door for online poker and blackjack," 28 Apr. 2021 Arizona, another fast-growing state that demographers considered a sure bet to pick up a new seat, failed to get one. Time, "New York and California Lose Congressional Seats, Texas and Florida Gain After 2020 Census," 27 Apr. 2021 Arizona, another fast-growing state that demographers considered a sure bet to pick up a new seat, failed to get one. Star Tribune, "US marks slowest population growth since the Depression," 27 Apr. 2021 These aren’t a sure bet, but any that do form could be strong to severe with damaging winds and hail possible. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Surge of warmth today with a few late-day storms possible," 11 Apr. 2021 But as many hopeful hoops fans learned last night... there is no such thing as a sure bet. Zack Jones, Forbes, "2022 NCAA Tournament Odds: Gonzaga Favored For Next Year’s Championship," 6 Apr. 2021 Expect more such taxing surprises, as Democrats debate which taxpayers to gore, but one sure bet is that this won’t be as popular as passing out money. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Spending Bill Cometh," 15 Mar. 2021 The optional 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is a sure bet, with the 180-hp 1.5-liter inline-three possible for a cheaper base version of the Maverick. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2022 Ford Maverick Spied in All Its Small-Pickup Glory," 12 Mar. 2021 Sanogo, playing at The Patrick School a couple of towns over from Newark, was considered by most recruiting analysts a sure bet to go to Seton Hall. Dom Amore,, "Dom Amore: After beating Seton Hall, UConn men no longer need to look back or ahead; the present March is shaping up just fine," 3 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the 44-16 Jazz , half the home losses have come to the Wolves, who bet them in a squeaker in the second game of the season. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, "Timberwolves overcome porous start to knock off Utah 101-96," 24 Apr. 2021 Super Stock’s chances to win the Kentucky Derby are up for debate, but bet against the power of fate and strong family ties at your own risk. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "For Asmussen family, Super Stock's journey to 2021 Kentucky Derby 'better than a movie'," 24 Apr. 2021 To put Curry’s emergence in the MVP conversation into context, PointsBet put him at a plus-10000 (bet $100 to win $10,000) on April 10 to win his third career MVP award. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "What Steph Curry's historic scoring surge means for his MVP chances," 21 Apr. 2021 What does any of that have to do with the banishment of an all-time-great player — and shameless liar — who bet illegally and in violation of a sacred league rule on games involving his own team? Dave Clark, The Enquirer, "Sun-Times' Greenberg to Major League Baseball: Make Pete Rose 'Chief Parlay Officer'," 21 Apr. 2021 Mexico, like many other countries, had bet heavily on the product, but supplies have been delayed., "European regulators decline to restrict use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, call blood clots very rare," 20 Apr. 2021 Best Animated Feature Film Never bet against Pixar. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "2021 Oscars Predictions: Who Will Win Versus Who Should," 19 Apr. 2021 Watching particularly closely will be those firms which have bet big on natural gas. The Economist, "Oil supermajors’ mega-bet on natural gas," 18 Apr. 2021 As spectacular gains triggered huge losses for hedge funds that bet the shares would fall, a David versus Goliath narrative took hold. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Wall Street just showed the Reddit crowd how to really make money," 18 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bet.' 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 bet


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for bet


origin unknown

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Learn More about bet

Statistics for bet

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for bet



English Language Learners Definition of bet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an agreement in which people try to guess what will happen and the person who guesses wrong has to give something (such as money) to the person who guesses right
: the money or other valuable thing that you could win or lose in a bet
: a choice made by thinking about what will probably happen



English Language Learners Definition of bet (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a bet : to risk losing something (such as money) if your guess about what will happen is wrong
: to risk losing (something) when you try to do or achieve something
: to make decisions that are based on the belief that something will happen or is true


\ ˈbet How to pronounce bet (audio) \

Kids Definition of bet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an agreement requiring the person who guesses wrong about the result of a contest or the outcome of an event to give something to the person who guesses right
2 : the money or thing risked in a bet
3 : a choice made by considering what might happen It's a safe bet that they will win.


bet or betted; betting

Kids Definition of bet (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to risk in a bet bet a dollar
2 : to make a bet with I bet you he'll win.
3 : to be sure enough to make a bet I bet she knows the answer.

Kids Definition of bet.


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