\ 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

But the technology is improving fast, prompting a dozen AI researchers to place bets on whether a fake video will disrupt America’s midterm elections later this year. The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 But on Vardavar Sunday, all bets are off and people in Armenia fully expect to be doused. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian, "The Point of Armenia’s Splashy Holiday is Getting Wet," 3 July 2018 All bets were off once Drake mentioned Pusha T's fiancé, Virginia Williams, by her government name over the Boi-1da production. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Pusha T & Drake's Feud, Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music Domination, XXXTentacion's Death, 'Scorpion' & More: Recapping a Wild 40 Days in Hip-Hop," 2 July 2018 But once the Senate approves another conservative justice, all bets are off. Jill Filipovic, Time, "America Will Lose More Than Abortion Rights If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned," 28 June 2018 Gambling All bets are off after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that barred sports gambling in most states. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Supreme Court to tackle immigration, voting rights, unions: A look at major cases on justices' agenda," 27 June 2018 If it is overturned by the new MLB arbitration panel, all bets are off. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: Some are whispering about Orioles' future in Baltimore, but would they ever leave?," 23 June 2018 If Harry Potter shows up, all bets are off (the majority of spellers cite the books as their favorites). Christopher Schultz,, "5 Things to Watch Out for During the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee," 31 May 2018 Earlier this year, bets were on Alexander McQueen, since creative director Sarah Burton made Kate Middleton's bridal gown in 2011. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Is Wearing a Givenchy Dress at the Royal Wedding and It's Absolutely Stunning," 19 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Investors on Thursday seemed to bet that the Murdoch family, which controls Fox, will do so, with the stock being 3 percent higher at £15.38 soon, or $20.29, after news of the government approval. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "U.K. Clears Fox's Sky Bid," 12 July 2018 If approved, the measure would legalize gambling terminals that allow users to bet on the results of past horse races. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Idaho will vote this fall on legalizing horse-race gambling machines," 10 July 2018 The future For now, Reviver seems to be betting that corporate and municipal vehicle fleets will buy Rplates, albeit at a notable discount. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Would you pay $700, plus a monthly fee, for a digital license plate?," 2 July 2018 In the American odds system, a negative indicates one party as the favorite to win, and the number next to it indicates how much a person must be willing to bet in order to win an additional hundred dollars. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Betting Experts Are Picking Aquaria to Win 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 10," 25 June 2018 This is an exciting glimpse of the future of games—though nobody in the industry is willing to bet on how far off that future really is quite yet. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Eyes-on: Nvidia's RTX demo shows the eye-popping potential of real-time ray tracing," 14 June 2018 Does that mean you will be allowed to bet on the College Football Playoff from a legal neighborhood sports book someday? Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "In Texas, legal sports betting still a long shot," 14 May 2018 The Orlando Magic bet big on the former Longhorn standout with the No. San Antonio Express-News, "The Bamba Project is still in early stages," 11 July 2018 The launch also comes amid friendlier rulings for the sports betting industry. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Ethereum-Based Blockchain Betting Platform Augur Just Launched. Here's Why It's Not Married to Either," 9 July 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

13 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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