gamble

verb
gam·​ble | \ ˈgam-bəl How to pronounce gamble (audio) \
gambled; gambling\ ˈgam-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce gamble (audio) \

Definition of gamble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to play a game for money or property
b : to bet on an uncertain outcome
2 : to stake something on a contingency (see contingency sense 1) : take a chance

transitive verb

1 : to risk by gambling : wager

gamble

noun

Definition of gamble (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act having an element of risk
b : something chancy
2 : the playing of a game of chance for stakes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gamble

Verb

gambler \ ˈgam-​blər How to pronounce gamble (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for gamble

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of gamble in a Sentence

Verb He's been drinking and gambling heavily. He would often gamble hundreds of dollars on a hand of poker. The mayor is gambling with the city's future. people who lost money gambling in the stock market The mayor is gambling that the new policies will help rather than hurt the city. Noun Starting her own business was a gamble, but it paid off. She thought about starting her own business, but she decided it was too much of a gamble.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Louisiana-Lafayette coach Billy Napier isn’t afraid to gamble. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, 4 Sep. 2021 There was nothing in the contract stating that Schlichter cannot gamble. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 1 Sep. 2021 Building an entire hour around the lives of teenagers was an uncommon choice at the time, but the fledgling Fox network decided to gamble. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, 1 Sep. 2021 Some locals who come often to gamble cashed in free nights at the hotels up the strip lined with a shuttered vape shop and haunts like the Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger. Lauren Hepler, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Aug. 2021 More substantive regulations will determine how bettors will pay to gamble online. Stephen Singer, courant.com, 31 Aug. 2021 Buyers willing to gamble that central London will bounce back from the ravages of the pandemic are snapping up discounted properties in some of the British capital’s most upscale neighborhoods. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2021 In recent decades, fewer and fewer cities have been willing to gamble on hosting such an expensive event, a predicament that led to the unusual double-award to Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles four years later. Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2021 Prosecutors say Blakely was supposed to be attending an annual conference for county officials but instead went to play golf, gamble and go to the spa in Biloxi, Mississippi. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, 29 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Biden is making this gamble from a position of (relative) strength. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 10 Sep. 2021 The musical production, the latest live experience from For The Record, is a gamble that pays off. Simon Thompson, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 The casting of the two female leads, says the director, was a big gamble as it was based on just their pictures, but the risks were paid off. Vivienne Chow, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 Only a last-minute gamble by a surgeon saved his life, but his arms and legs had to be amputated. USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2021 Economists have warned of the potential havoc Bukele’s bitcoin gamble could wreak on the Salvadoran economy, given the currency’s volatility. Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2021 To locals, life under the coalition forces and their Afghan allies was pure hazard; even drinking tea in a sunlit field, or driving to your sister’s wedding, was a potentially deadly gamble. Anand Gopal, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 Nolan’s second series ended with a gamble that backfired. oregonlive, 5 Sep. 2021 Unfortunately for the Trojans, that gamble resulted in a 60-yard pick-six from the Crimsons' Deovante Curtis. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 4 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gamble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gamble

Verb

1757, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gamble

Verb

probably back-formation from gambler, perhaps alteration (by dissimilation, or substitution of the frequentative suffix -le) of early Modern English gamner "player in a game," from gamen "to play" (going back to Middle English gamenen, going back to Old English gamenian, derivative of gamen game entry 1) + -er -er entry 2

Noun

noun derivative of gamble entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About gamble

Dictionary Entries Near gamble

gambit

gamble

gamble away

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gamble

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gamble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamble. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gamble

gamble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gamble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to play a game in which you can win or lose money or possessions : to bet money or other valuable things
: to risk losing (an amount of money) in a game or bet
: to risk losing (something valuable or important) in order to do or achieve something

gamble

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gamble (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that could produce a desired result or a bad or unpleasant result : risk

gamble

verb
gam·​ble | \ ˈgam-bəl How to pronounce gamble (audio) \
gambled; gambling

Kids Definition of gamble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to play a game in which something (as money) can be won or lost : bet
2 : to take a chance I gambled on not being seen.

Other Words from gamble

gambler \ ˈgam-​blər \ noun

gamble

noun

Kids Definition of gamble (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that could produce a good or bad result : risk Starting a business can be a gamble.

gamble

verb
gam·​ble | \ ˈgam-bəl How to pronounce gamble (audio) \
gambled; gambling

Legal Definition of gamble

intransitive verb

: to risk something of value for the chance of winning a prize

transitive verb

: to risk (something) for the chance of winning a prize

Other Words from gamble

gambler \ -​blər How to pronounce gamble (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on gamble

Nglish: Translation of gamble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gamble for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!