\ 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)


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Energy prices have tempered in recent weeks, as traders bracing for a global recession bet that lower economic activity will cut energy usage. Christopher M. Matthews, WSJ, 30 July 2022 Simply place a $5 moneyline bet for an automatic $100 bonus, regardless of the outcome. Xl Media, cleveland, 28 July 2022 The 26-year-old continues to improve on both sides of the ball and looks like a solid bet to emerge as a backup catcher. Alex Speier,, 28 July 2022 But these days the chance of victory isn’t looking like a sure bet for employees. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 26 July 2022 The moment is reminiscent of other bet-the-company gambles, such as when Netflix killed off its DVD-mailing business last decade to focus on streaming. New York Times, 26 July 2022 But as well as that bet worked out for the Goodman with Falls, Booth is much more of a sure thing. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 25 July 2022 California is making a $4-billion bet that expanding the role of schools in high-poverty areas into neighborhood centers with healthcare and other social services will improve academic performance. Liam Dillonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 Consumers should also treat carbon offset purchases as a gamble rather than a sure bet. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, 21 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Don't bet the stars The early 14-game losing streak, and dismissal of manager Joe Maddon, made the Los Angeles Angels the biggest first-half disappointment. Lance Pugmire, USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 For now, don’t bet on anything happening offensively from Keita from outside 8 feet. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 July 2022 Players can bet on any upcoming game or event, and any loss will be met with an insurance reimbursement of site credit. Xl Media, cleveland, 30 June 2022 Don’t bet against the Lightning reaching a fourth consecutive final and going for a third championship in four years. Stephen Whyno,, 27 June 2022 Don’t bet the house on it—or at least that’s what Morgan Stanley says. Will Daniel, Fortune, 21 June 2022 Passengers can bet using a mobile app or at physical kiosks on the ship. Wayne Parry, ajc, 17 June 2022 Passengers can bet using a mobile app or at physical kiosks on the ship. Wayne Parry, Orlando Sentinel, 17 June 2022 Don’t bet against Renaissance extending the streak. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 16 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About bet

Dictionary Entries Near bet

be sweet on



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bet

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bet


\ 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.


More from Merriam-Webster on bet

Nglish: Translation of bet for Spanish Speakers

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


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