\ 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 The safer, best bet, is in areas like medicine, the law or engineering. Alex Lazarow, Forbes, 8 June 2021 But details are still being worked out and a safer bet might be to plan for July. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 2 June 2021 While both vinegar and Coca-Cola have the potential to remove slime, oil is a safer bet. Marielle Marlys, Good Housekeeping, 24 May 2021 Admitting a conservative number of students and then filling the gaps with waitlists has proved to be a safer bet, if more emotionally fraught for applicants. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2021 For the people making this exodus, braving the perils of the journey was evidently a safer bet than staying put. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 Newsome is a safer bet than two higher-upside prospects with medical concerns, Caleb Farley and Jaelan Phillips. USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2021 That Pixel should be a safer bet for the future than the Pixel 5. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 5 Apr. 2021 The world might indeed be opened up by that point, but right now the fall feels like a safer bet than the summer. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Maisy hadn't attended this aforementioned event; what's more, Nella was willing to bet her middle name that the Museum of Natural History was as far north as Maisy had ever traveled in Manhattan. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, 1 June 2021 So don’t bet all your tags on one single, perfect gem of a spot. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 23 Mar. 2021 Being well established in a niche market will buy you more time, but don’t bet on being the equivalent of COBOL, the 1950s programming language that remains crucial for global banking infrastructure. Brendan Ciecko, Rolling Stone, 19 Mar. 2021 There have been delays already, so don't bet the house on driving one off the lot this year. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, 15 Mar. 2021 Texans like gambling, but don’t bet on lawmakers legalizing casinos or sports betting anytime soon. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 8 Mar. 2021 Many people are fans of the brand and engage with us regularly, but do not actually bet on the site – that is equally as exciting to us. Dr Geraint Evans, Forbes, 27 May 2021 That tends to suppress tropical storms there – but don’t bet the farm on it. Kristopher Karnauskas, The Conversation, 18 May 2021 No matter what the world throws at humanity, don't ever bet against Las Vegas. Matt Villano, CNN, 14 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

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 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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