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 Lightfoot isn’t counting on gambling revenues next year, but the mayor would like to see the legislature redo the taxing formula — which would slash the amount of money going into government coffers — to lure investors to open a Chicago casino. Dan Petrella, chicagotribune.com, "Mayor Lori Lightfoot will head to Springfield to urge Illinois lawmakers for help landing a Chicago casino," 12 Nov. 2019 Play of the game: Mountain Brook gambled to win or lose on one play in overtime, passing on a possible game-tying field goal. al, "Mountain Brook works overtime to beat Gardendale," 2 Nov. 2019 Revenue from sources other than gambling drove net revenue to an increase over the year-earlier period, at $347.6 million. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Mohegan Sun owner becomes first Native American tribe in Las Vegas, operating gambling at casino set to open in 2020," 17 Sep. 2019 The Jackson coaching staff gambled on fourth and 1 in the second quarter and Ethan Adkins rewarded the good faith with a touchdown run. cleveland.com, "Check out cleveland.com High School Football Top 25 Roundup for Week 1, August 30, 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 Opponents could gamble that an election could work in their favor and topple the Conservative government. Washington Post, "Britain’s Johnson threatens to purge rebel party members as Brexit battle heats up," 3 Sep. 2019 Owners can also easily gamble on two young players with upside in rounds 13 and 14 by grabbing Allen and Darnold. Brandon Niles, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2019: Quarterback Position Primer," 5 Aug. 2019 Those who do not have close enough relatives abroad cannot gamble at all. Milena Belloni, Quartz Africa, "Why young Eritreans are going to keep risking deadly migration crossings to Europe," 27 July 2019 Urged on by Pompeo, Rubio’s team pulled money out of other states to gamble on winning the Kansas caucus. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Trump," 19 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The gamble paid off, as the veteran quarterback, lined up in the shotgun, found Sanders again in the end zone to put the hosts up 14-13, giving the Bears the ball back with basically a half a minute left and only one timeout in their pockets. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Broncos comeback kicked aside by Bears in Denver’s first home opener loss since 2011," 15 Sep. 2019 Regarding her attacks on Biden at Democratic debates in Miami and Detroit, Lester said Harris took a bold gamble and lost, to the tune of 12 percentage points. Melanie Eversley, Fortune, "Gap Between Joe Biden and Other 2020 Democrats Narrows, Poll Shows," 22 Aug. 2019 The partners also took a gamble on Midtown, arguably before most people were even aware the then-still-gritty neighborhood even had such a name. Dale Robertson, Houston Chronicle, "Ibiza restaurant in Midtown is closing," 5 Aug. 2019 Lieberman’s gamble paid off Tuesday, and exit polls suggested his party had nearly doubled in strength, to as many as 10 seats. Washington Post, "Israel’s Netanyahu appears to suffer setback in exit polls," 17 Sep. 2019 The gig economy has always depended on a simple gamble and arbitrage: Hire workers as contractors to do jobs through a platform, thereby eliminating the costs associated with traditional employment. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "The California Senate has voted to end the gig economy as we know it," 11 Sep. 2019 Those 50-50 balls, as coaches call them, are sometimes gambles, and better to sail them than to underthrow them for an interception. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football mailbag: Fans air grievances about hapless offense," 7 Sep. 2019 In a state founded on a gamble for gold, get-rich-quick gurus have thrived on gullible greenhorns. Tom Noel, The Know, "16 strange, spooky and (mostly) true Colorado stories to tell around a campfire," 24 Aug. 2019 But investing in California, the biggest prize in the presidential sweepstakes with 495 delegates, remains a gamble for both. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sanders, Harris set for showdown in delegate-rich California," 21 Aug. 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

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for gamble

The first known use of gamble was in 1757

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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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