gamble

verb
gam·​ble | \ˈgam-bəl \
gambled; gambling\ˈgam-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \ 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

In other words, MoviePass appears to be gambling on the size of its subscriber base to convince big companies to partner with it. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "MoviePass isn’t dead yet, but it’s banking on a risky strategy to stay afloat," 3 Aug. 2018 This year, the party’s primary voters spurned several attractive candidates cut from the same cloth and gambled on the young, unabashedly progressive African-American mayor of Tallahassee. William A. Galston, WSJ, "After the Midterms, Party Strategies Are Set," 6 Nov. 2018 To be diagnosed, gamblers must have several symptoms including repeatedly gambling increasing amounts of money, lying to hide gambling activity, feeling irritable or restless when trying to stop, and losing jobs or relationships because of gambling. Washington Post, "Science Says: What makes something truly addictive," 21 June 2018 Merkley was minus-29 this season and gambled too much down the offensive end. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Will the Flyers roll the draft dice on Ryan Merkley, a talented defenseman prospect with attitude concerns?," 20 June 2018 Dorsey, who also gambled on two-time Pro Bowl receiver Tyreek Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 draft in Kansas City, insisted the Browns did extensive research on Callaway and are comfortable with the decision. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Browns' John Dorsey says WR Antonio Callaway will 'be driven to prove' he's learned from his mistakes," 28 Apr. 2018 There’s something like $190 billion a year gambled on sports in America. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Morality a non-factor as Illinois, others weigh sports betting," 14 May 2018 Royal baby number three just arrived this morning, but U.K. bookmakers have been gambling on the child’s name long before his arrival. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Will Kate Middleton and Prince William Name Their New Baby Boy?," 23 Apr. 2018 In production of the Model 3, Mr. Musk gambled by creating an assembly line that relies much more heavily on automated equipment and robots than workers. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, "Tesla to Halt Production of Model 3 Cars Temporarily," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And of course, a decent gamble for the team owners. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Major League Soccer will be great. FC Cincinnati ownership banking on it.," 8 Mar. 2018 Nvidia has made its gamble, and the dice are now rolling. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Nvidia rethinks the graphics card with the RTX 2080," 14 Sep. 2018 His gamble paid off and put Justice Neil Gorsuch on the bench. Mackenzie Long, Teen Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh Announced as President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 The downside of Peters and Talib is their gambles can backfire if quarterbacks have time to throw. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "NFC West Offseason Report Cards: Cardinals Blitzing, Rams Spend on Defense, Garoppolo Ready to Execute, Seahawks Rebuilding," 28 June 2018 But, thanks to a combination of their own resolve, luck and the skill of their doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center, their gamble paid off. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, ""Miracle" baby celebrates his first birthday at home," 9 June 2018 Their first gamble is whether or not lower promotional prices will attract enough new-to-brand buyers to outweigh the revenue from those people who were going to buy the product anyway, even at the higher price. Adam Snitzer, miamiherald, "Marketers: Beware the perils of in-store promotions," 3 June 2018 With their financial commitment to Lincecum only $1 million, the Rangers wouldn't be taking a massive hit if their gamble on him doesn't work out. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Will Tim Lincecum ever throw a pitch for Rangers?," 28 May 2018 His gamble that day would change her career, change his, and change the sport. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Danica Patrick on her last race, the Indy 500 that got away, and why she can win," 18 May 2018

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

1 Dec 2018

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 \
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 \
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 \ 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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