gamble

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

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

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Other Words from gamble

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for gamble

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These workers are expected to essentially gamble for a good paycheck, when people in other industries generally know how much they’ll be paid from week to week. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "How much should you be tipping during coronavirus?," 3 Sep. 2020 This vacuum in the rulebook has even raised speculation that teams might gamble to seize the yellow jersey this weekend in the Pyrenees, just in case the curtain comes down on Monday. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Tour de France Braces for Its Most Stressful Stage: Covid Testing," 5 Sep. 2020 But can the Sox gamble on so much inexperience in the rotation in the thick of a pennant race? Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Rather than ponder promise, GM Rick Hahn should add another starting pitcher before the trade deadline. The future is now — and the White Sox need to go for it.," 29 Aug. 2020 Even Bobbi, who accompanied her husband to the pickup game, was surprised Olson wanted to gamble on the 6-foot-2, 160-pound sharpshooter. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "How Lute Olson led Steve Kerr through some of his darkest moments," 28 Aug. 2020 Hospitals can’t gamble with reducing their workforces if their volumes dip, as happened in the early days of the pandemic, Tabor said. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana hospitals braced for COVID-19’s financial impact. A new study sheds light on it.," 19 Aug. 2020 And when more barrels are needed, oil companies will surely prefer to focus on West Texas, Oklahoma and other sure-bets rather than gamble on a risky and expensive project in an unproven place like ANWR. Matt Egan, CNN, "It's a bizarre time for Trump to open Alaska's Arctic refuge up to oil drilling," 18 Aug. 2020 You may be invited to gamble, but keep your purse strings closed and your lips sealed this weekend. oregonlive, "Horoscope for August 1, 2020: Gemini, no gambling this weekend; Sagittarius, only risk what you can afford to lose," 1 Aug. 2020 Investors have essentially been forced to gamble on equities -- and Big Tech in particular is benefiting from that. Matt Egan, CNN, "US billionaires have become $565 billion richer during the pandemic," 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And because there haven’t been known sales of these statues, collectors wouldn’t be able to tell what one is worth, so investing would be a gamble. Washington Post, "Why a Russian billionaire wants to buy controversial statues that were taken down," 21 Sep. 2020 Since the reserve studies are designed to gradually accumulate repair funds at about the same pace as deterioration, any funding below the recommendation is a gamble. Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "HOA Homefront: The reserve fund – How much is too much?," 12 Sep. 2020 Although not as difficult as what Burrow faces with the Bengals, Brady recognizes there's a gamble in his move, even as he is surrounded by outstanding offensive talent. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "NFL 2020: Who really knows what to expect on field and off?," 28 Aug. 2020 Whether or not that gamble pays off is why viewers simply can't get enough of Awake. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Why Netflix’s ‘Awake: The Million Dollar Game’ Is So Much Harder Than It Looks," 24 July 2020 So far, van der Merwe’s gamble has paid off: All four cheetahs have survived, and one female gave birth to three cubs this July—the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. National Geographic, "Rare photographs show African cheetahs in snowstorm," 10 Sep. 2020 That’s a big political gamble for any government to take, let alone one that is poised to leave the relative protection of the European Union. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Britain’s new sanctions regime could be weaponized against Chinese officials," 3 Sep. 2020 Many Texas universities are not doing widespread testing to catch students who may be silent spreaders of the coronavirus, a gamble that experts say increases the risk of massive outbreaks. Dallas News, "How Texas campuses may be missing the silent spread of the coronavirus," 30 Aug. 2020 That made students from poorer households less likely to take the gamble. Tom Simonite, Wired, "Skewed Grading Algorithms Fuel Backlash Beyond the Classroom," 19 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for gamble

Time Traveler

The first known use of gamble was in 1757

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Statistics for gamble

Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gamble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamble. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for gamble

gamble

verb
How to pronounce gamble (audio)

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

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 gambler (audio) \ noun

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Comments on gamble

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