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 There’s still a major hold-up though — the House bill would regulate sports gambling under the state lottery commission, while the Senate has been considering a version that would put the state casino control commission in charge. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Ohio ramping up coronavirus testing in nursing homes: Capitol Letter," 27 May 2020 Ruth put together a team to bring dirty money into the casino by gambling most of it away. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "Ozark Season 3 Binge Club Recap: Episodes 1-10," 30 Mar. 2020 By legalizing the practice in 2018, the U.S. is becoming the biggest test case in sports gambling history. Washington Post, "Sports Betting," 2 Dec. 2019 For Youngstown, the deal was just the latest in a long line of fizzled developments, underscoring how officials have gambled with economic development dollars in hopes of reviving the city. Desperation Town, ProPublica, "Why a Struggling Rust Belt City Pinned Its Revival on a Self-Chilling Beverage Can," 11 May 2020 Alcohol regulators have also allowed sports gambling at 13 bars and restaurants and are considering applications from 16 more. Washington Post, "D.C. sports betting app to go live in March; Capital One Arena seeks sportsbook," 10 Jan. 2020 Others, like Cowboys, who gambled on injury risk Jaylon Smith in the second round, were viewed more skeptically at the time. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "It's now or never: Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions can't let 2020 NFL draft class go to waste," 25 Apr. 2020 The reining in of bank risk after the financial crisis is giving way to a loosening of the rules just as the desperation for yield makes banks more willing to gamble. Washington Post, "Bankers Are Playing With Fire, Once Again," 16 Dec. 2019 The Knicks and Nets will offer full max contracts, willing to gamble on getting three good years from Durant for the price of four. Chris Mannix, SI.com, "2019 NBA Free Agency Primer: Rumors, Stakes and More Buzz," 26 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mazda took a big gamble in its Gen 4 upgrade by ditching its retro-Lotus styling for a more 21st-century Mazda design. cleveland, "Mazda’s sporty MX-5 Miata is a great escape (review)," 30 May 2020 Yet despite a series of missteps, there are signs that his gamble to limit restrictions despite several heavy outbreaks may have paid off. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Georgia reopens, is it creating a model for America?," 26 May 2020 Although Texas Senator Ted Cruz rejected ethanol and won the Iowa caucuses anyway in 2016, candidates this year didn’t appear to want to take the gamble. Miranda Green, The New Republic, "How Ditching the Iowa Caucus Could Remake the Biofuels Debate," 10 Feb. 2020 Benrahma could be an exciting addition for United, if Solskjaer is willing to take the gamble. SI.com, "Kalvin Phillips & 4 Other Championship Players Manchester United Should Look to Sign in January," 31 Oct. 2019 Benioff took the gamble in 2017, pledging $110 million over 25 years, with $9.1 million up front and the rest committed to supporting operations when the trains started running. John Brant, Popular Mechanics, "It Was Supposed to Be the Safest Building in the World. Then It Cracked.," 25 Oct. 2019 Not to say Kitchens was the wrong hire, but Haslam is certainly taking a gamble. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Who is under the most pressure in the 2019 NFL season?," 31 Aug. 2019 Jordan's done more than just golf and gamble with his money, although he's certainly done a lot of both. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Tracing Michael Jordan's 10 biggest life feats over 20-plus years since 'The Last Dance' era," 15 May 2020 The world is watching Sweden’s gamble Sweden is an outlier with its coronavirus response, forgoing the strict lockdowns of its European neighbors. Jonathan Wolfe, New York Times, "Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today," 15 May 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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gamble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamble. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on gamble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gamble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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