\ 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 betyou 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 outbreak keeps spreading at its current pace, however, all bets are off. Jeff Spross, TheWeek, "The coronavirus is hitting the Chinese economy at the worst time," 12 Feb. 2020 The free-floating anxiety about his presidency means that all bets are off, and many possible events between now and November could end up gifting the Democrats the White House. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Joe Biden Is Unfit for the Democratic Nomination," 10 Feb. 2020 When cultural zealots court a cynical politician, all bets are off. John King,, "Trump’s next target could be his most cynical yet — modern architecture," 9 Feb. 2020 Enterprises are also hedging their bets and using both to avoid being locked into a single vendor. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "Thanks to Amazon, the cloud war is a fight for third place," 6 Feb. 2020 Mattress Mack’ has become well-known for his huge bets on sports. Will Clark, Niners Wire, "Bettor places $1 million bet on 49ers," 30 Jan. 2020 Warren Buffett is tossing his bet on the U.S. newspaper industry. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Warren Buffett is ending his bet on local newspaper business," 29 Jan. 2020 Place your bets now on how long his character will survive. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Snowpiercer series finally coming to TNT, and here’s the first teaser to prove it," 16 Jan. 2020 To save the hemlock, many scientists have placed their bets on biocontrol: introducing one or more species to reduce adelgid populations. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Aphid-munching beetle could help save hemlock forests," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Related: Sports betting could be coming to Kentucky. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "The Kentucky sports betting bill overwhelmingly favors two things: Horses and horsepower," 7 Feb. 2020 No: -104 Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Super Bowl 2020 betting: Line, odds, prop bets for Chiefs vs. 49ers," 2 Feb. 2020 Sports betting is poised to become another huge sponsorship area. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "The NFL is ready to score a huge payday after shaking off controversies," 30 Jan. 2020 The rise of fantasy sports and legalized sports betting have helped the league weather the cord-cutting storm, keeping viewers engaged and bringing in new ones who might otherwise not care about the outcomes of games. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "In the age of streaming, the NFL is the last refuge for traditional TV," 30 Jan. 2020 Baseball’s sign-stealing scandal threatens to get in the way of the new and still strange-bedfellow embrace Major League Baseball has made with sports betting. Michael Silverman,, "Did alleged sign-stealing impact your DraftKings results? This Mass. lawyer is suing MLB over it," 27 Jan. 2020 One of the maxims of sports betting is that gamblers love points. New York Times, "L.S.U.’s offense has come to life.," 13 Jan. 2020 The amount gambled on sports betting doesn't surprise Hicks. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana's sports betting obsession: Gamblers wagered $436 million in 4 months," 13 Jan. 2020 If most states do end up legalising sports betting, the market could reach $60bn by 2025. The Economist, "Daily chart As much as $26bn could be gambled on American sport in 2020," 29 Dec. 2019

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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Statistics for bet

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bet


How to pronounce bet (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on bet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bet

Spanish Central: Translation of bet

Nglish: Translation of bet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bet

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