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

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

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Other Words from gamble

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for gamble

Synonyms: Verb

bet, go, lay, play, put, stake, wager

Synonyms: Noun

adventure, chance, crapshoot, enterprise, flier (also flyer), flutter [chiefly British], speculation, throw, venture

Antonyms: Noun

sure thing

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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

The question is whether the Hornets are willing to gamble on another raw, developmental prospect this early in the draft. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "Barely 19, Zhaire Smith has 'surprised' in NBA workouts. Could Hornets take a gamble?," 14 June 2018 Veronica decides to enter the game, raising the stakes by gambling the deed to Pop's. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Elio on "Riverdale"?," 28 Feb. 2019 Godfrey pointed out that daily fantasy sports in other states are often overseen by gambling regulatory boards. John Sharp, AL.com, "Daily fantasy sports resurfaces in Alabama: Model legislation, or political firecracker?," 27 Feb. 2018 Still, many musicians are willing to gamble against their cities enforcing those policies. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Nashville Producer Fights for Backyard Studio as Home-Studio Owners Nationwide Hope Neighbors Don't Squeal," 16 Apr. 2018 Unsafe Bet Australia gambles more each year per capita than any other nation Source: Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, 2015 data. Bloomberg.com, "A War Against Slot Machines Is Brewing in Australia," 24 Jan. 2018 The game has no object other than to gamble too long and eventually lose. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "If You Can't Beat It, Code It," 17 Dec. 2018 The store is next to a casino where authorities say Riess spent the day gambling before stopping at the gas station. Fox News, "Minnesota woman suspected of killing 2 captured in Texas," 20 Apr. 2018 The store is next to a casino where authorities say Riess spent the day gambling before stopping at the gas station. CBS News, "Fugitive grandma Lois Riess arrested after authorities receive tip in Texas," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For Carlos and Claudia, the journey was a gamble, a chance for a better life for their only daughter. Jay Root And Shannon Najmabadi, star-telegram, "'A very cruel punishment': Family split by 'zero tolerance' won't try to cross again," 10 July 2018 Though taking a risk on the red carpet makes for one serious fashion gamble, Tracee Ellis Ross proved just how good the benefits of maximal dressing can be at the 2018 Producers Guild of America Awards, held in Los Angeles yesterday. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Tracee Ellis Ross Proves More Is More in Tory Burch," 21 Jan. 2018 Katharina gambles—for the sake of excitement, really—and loses. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Walter Kempowski’s Epic Novel of Germany in Collapse," 21 Mar. 2016 Ritchie is a prime example of that, and one that is far less of a gamble than most. SI.com, "Newcastle's Matt Ritchie Open to Stoke City Move on One Condition," 8 July 2018 There’s something deeply sad about seeing Cousins reduced to a gamble. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "Boogie Cousins Heads for the Bay," 3 July 2018 Those hoping to place bets online or through a mobile device will still have to wait to gamble: The legislation includes a clause stating that online sports betting cannot start within 30 days of the bill signing. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "New Jersey Legalizes Sports Betting," 11 June 2018 And now Mayweather, who loves to gamble, just won a $100,000 jackpot playing video poker, which might be the saddest gambling game of all. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Floyd Mayweather Jr. Won $100,000 Video-Poker Jackpot, Proving That Life Is Unfair," 15 May 2018 This is a sounder strategy in the abstract than the Obama team’s gamble on Iranian restraint. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Mideast Strategy," 14 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for gamble

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gamble

The first known use of gamble was in 1757

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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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on gamble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gamble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gamble

Spanish Central: Translation of gamble

Nglish: Translation of gamble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gamble for Arabic Speakers

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