\ˈbet \

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 & Antonyms for bet

Synonyms: Noun

choice, chosen, pick, selection

Synonyms: Verb

gamble, go, lay, play, put, stake, wager

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of bet in a Sentence


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.


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

While Branagh and his team were racing to put them together, Musk was hedging his bets with another design approach. Wendy Dent, WIRED, "The Engineering Behind Elon Musk's Bid to Save Thailand's Cave Boys," 11 July 2018 But with millions of dollars at stake, the agency is hedging its bets. Jon Chesto,, "Wynn Resorts pulled into legal fight over Everett casino site," 10 July 2018 Sideline Chatter: Mariners closer Edwin Diaz getting 50 saves might prove easier than getting his manager, Scott Servais, to pay off their bet by climbing into a barber’s chair, Dwight Perry writes. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "A station could be making firefighters sick, Sue Bird makes history and more rescues from the Thai cave | Monday Morning Brief, July 9," 9 July 2018 The Van Duzer Corridor, the lowest point in Oregon's Coast Range, has become a go-to place for wineries and vineyards hedging their bets against climate change. CBS News, "How wineries from Oregon to France are adapting to climate change," 28 June 2018 Both Disney and Comcast would have strategic uses for the RSNs, either as a helpful expansion for the Disney’s ESPN brand or allowing Comcast to double down on its bet on NBC Sports RSNs, which include NBC Sports Chicago. Phil Rosenthal,, "With Disney and Comcast willing to discard Fox's RSNs, Cubs must wonder value of channel," 26 June 2018 It’s possible; HBO has been expressing a general unease with the ballooning costs of expensive series like Westworld, which could mean the creators are hedging their bets. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Westworld Season 3—Everything We Know So Far," 25 June 2018 Give yourself a week or more and a few dozen miles on a shoe or boot before a big trip and to hedge your bets against foot pain. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "What to Splurge on (and Avoid) When Buying Gear," 22 June 2018 But unlike in some other states, gamblers will have to go to the actual casinos in Mississippi to place their sports bets. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Sports betting rules OK'd for Mississippi casinos," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He and seven friends were later found to have bet on that outcome. NBC News, "Supreme Court's sports betting ruling potentially opens door to U.K.-style industry," 31 May 2018 So far, fewer than 20 states have yet to approve or consider any regulations for sports betting. Chris Kirkham, WSJ, "States Weigh Bets on Mobile Sports Gambling," 13 July 2018 In the tristate area, sports betting is legal in New Jersey and Delaware. Ed Barkowitz,, "Atlantic City bookies offer odds and props for Sunday's World Cup final between France and Croatia," 13 July 2018 In May, the Supreme Court granted states the ability to make their own decisions on sports betting, after the court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was unconstitutional. Jenna West,, "FanDuel to Open New Jersey Sportsbook Near MetLife Stadium," 12 July 2018 According to a June 25 letter from division Director David Rebuck, made public on Monday, Hard Rock and Bet365 signed a deal on June 19 to offer sports betting. Washington Post, "Hard Rock, Bet365 plan sports betting in New Jersey," 10 July 2018 Many players weren’t fully aware of the implications created by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow individual states to control sports betting. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "MLB players survey: Sounding off on umps, shifts, steroids - and whether to strike back," 28 June 2018 The Gonzales poll showed 41 percent of Marylanders favor legalization, while 38 percent opposed sports betting, with 21 percent undecided. Luke Broadwater,, "Poll: No. 1 issue for Maryland Democrats is 'removing Donald Trump from office'," 12 June 2018 One new factor — a historic May 14 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing all states to legalize sports betting — could have an impact on all this, albeit an uncertain one. Susan Jacoby, Time, "Why the Worst Thing About Baseball Is Also the Best Thing About Baseball," 24 May 2018

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

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bet

The first known use of bet was in 1591

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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 \

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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Comments on bet

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


full of whispering sounds

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