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, enterprise, flier (also flyer), 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

That makes their win on Sunday the biggest upset of the tournament thus far (and a big money-maker for anybody who gambled on them). Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Mexico’s World Cup Goal Caused Man-Made Earthquake," 17 June 2018 Macron appeared to be gambling that his rhetorical repudiation of much of Trump's philosophy would not filter through or anger the US President, who is more susceptible to visuals and symbolism than complicated ideological arguments. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "After the hugs and kisses, Macron rips Trumpism," 25 Apr. 2018 Though the impact would initially be spotty — since most agencies would be closed until Monday — the story would be certain to dominate weekend news coverage, and each party would be gambling the public would blame the other. BostonGlobe.com, "Blame game, but no agreement after Trump, Schumer meet," 19 Jan. 2018 Though the impact would initially be spotty - since most agencies would be closed until Monday - the story would be certain to dominate weekend news coverage, and each party would be gambling the public would blame the other. Alan Fram And Andrew Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "House votes to avert federal shutdown; Senate chances dim," 18 Jan. 2018 Fourteen other states have introduced sports-gambling legislation in recent sessions, according to an April report from Fitch. chicagotribune.com, "Atlantic City gets lifeline as high court clears sports betting," 14 May 2018 There is speculation that California could legalize sports gambling soon now that the federal ban has been struck down, but there is still work to be done. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Is Sports Betting Legal in California Following Supreme Court Decision?," 14 May 2018 The court had no opinion about sports gambling itself or about any possible new ban on interstate sports gambling or on individuals who wager on sports. The Christian Science Monitor, "Mixing sports and sports gambling is no game," 14 May 2018 Americans legally gambling on this weekend’s World Cup final and other athletic competitions primarily are doing so in person at a limited number of casinos. Chris Kirkham, WSJ, "States Weigh Bets on Mobile Sports Gambling," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cordova has also locked residencies from Solomun, Jamie Jones and Black Coffee, whose refined house and techno is a bold gamble for the Strip. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard Dance Power Players 2018: The Managers, Live Leaders & Tastemakers Shaping the Genre," 23 Mar. 2018 The chance to live a dream life made the gamble seem worthwhile, and the district that includes Leilani has been the fastest-growing in the state. James Burch, National Geographic, "Kilauea Photographers Aid Relief Effort in Hawaii Community," 12 May 2018 Jackson isn’t as fully formed and ready as Rosen, but is more of a dual threat, a bigger gamble with perhaps a higher ceiling. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Ready for a shock? Check out the pick for the Miami Dolphins | Miami Herald," 25 Apr. 2018 But the possible benefits — saving money and experiencing a destination like a local — are worth the gamble for some travelers. Washington Post, "How to read between the lines of Airbnb listings," 21 Mar. 2018 One of Apple’s many gambles with the Mac Pro was that Thunderbolt ports will someday be used with external hardware to eliminate the need for some internal upgrades. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iMac Pro review: Working as intended," 16 Feb. 2018 Think of it as a consolation prize—even if the biggest gamble in consumer electronics crashes and burns, 3D is still well positioned to become the new state of the art for video games. Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, "Why 3D Doesn't Work for TV, But Is Great for Gaming: Analysis," 11 Mar. 2010 His casting of non-professionals and first-timers is also a bold gamble that pays off. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Now the $350 billion Irving, Texas, company is returning to its old ways: big, disciplined spending on prospects that make money at low oil prices. The approach is a gamble in a new era of energy breakthroughs such as fracking and electric vehicles. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Exxon, Once a ‘Perfect Machine,’ Is Running Dry," 13 July 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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Phrases Related to gamble

gamble away

take a gamble

Statistics for gamble

Last Updated

20 Oct 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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