gamble

verb
gam·​ble | \ ˈgam-bəl How to pronounce gamble (audio) \
gambled; gambling\ ˈgam-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce gamble (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 gamble (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 Anyone 21 and older can gamble, and that includes betting on sports. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Grown: Is sports betting legal in Arkansas and how can I do it?," 23 Dec. 2020 Joey Bosa did little early, didn’t get to the QB, but made a few nice third-down stops that didn’t mean anything because other teams gamble on short yardage. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Nick Canepa’s Chargers report card: at Raiders," 17 Dec. 2020 At the same time, Fayne was using his company’s money to gamble, losing large amounts between 2016 and 2018, according to the FBI. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Cleveland developer embezzled $885,000 from Eastside Market project during bad losing streak at casino, feds say," 7 Dec. 2020 Why, some scientists debated in the spring and summer, would the United States gamble on a type of vaccine that had never been deployed beyond clinical trials, when the stakes were so high? Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "A gamble pays off in ‘spectacular success’: How the leading coronavirus vaccines made it to the finish line," 6 Dec. 2020 Winegarden has been known to gamble with onsides kicks, fake punts and other special teams gadget plays. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "Scouts’ view: Breaking down Thompson vs. Auburn in the Class 7A championship game," 2 Dec. 2020 Most Minnesotans who gamble (78%), do so as entertainment and do not suffer serious negative consequences. Susan Sheridan Tucker, Star Tribune, "Counterpoint: Problem gambling is not a 'sin.' It's a disease," 25 Nov. 2020 Wentz fell into the trap of trying to do too much to compensate for deficiencies around him, leading him to force throws, gamble and make costly mistakes. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Carson Wentz, Lamar Jackson desperately need to turn seasons around," 24 Nov. 2020 Months ago, as the offers were rolling in from a handful of EuroLeague teams, Columbia-native Greg Whittington decided to gamble on his basketball future by holding out for an opportunity with an NBA organization. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "After four years playing basketball overseas, Oakland Mills grad Greg Whittington signs two-way contract with Denver Nuggets," 24 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One week after getting stopped on an early fourth-and-1 gamble, the Niners converted in a big way. oregonlive, "San Francisco 49ers grind out needed win over the LA Rams: Recap, score, stats and more," 19 Oct. 2020 One week after getting stopped on an early fourth-and-1 gamble, the Niners converted in a big way. Josh Dubow, orlandosentinel.com, "Jimmy Garoppolo throws 3 TD passes, 49ers beat Rams 24-16," 19 Oct. 2020 Tua was the biggest gamble in NFL Draft history. ... Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Patrick Mahomes might be NFL’s best ever someday, but that day isn’t now," 5 Dec. 2020 Advanced Micro Devices is taking a big gamble in buying Xilinx. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "AMD Can Roll the Dice With Xilinx," 27 Oct. 2020 The billionaire executive, who led Walt Disney Studios through its 1990s animation renaissance, acknowledged before the launch of Quibi that his concept was a big gamble. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "High-profile streamer Quibi is shutting down after subscriber struggles," 21 Oct. 2020 One week after getting stopped on an early fourth-and-1 gamble, the Niners converted in a big way. oregonlive, "San Francisco 49ers grind out needed win over the LA Rams: Recap, score, stats and more," 19 Oct. 2020 One week after getting stopped on an early fourth-and-1 gamble, the Niners converted in a big way. Josh Dubow, orlandosentinel.com, "Jimmy Garoppolo throws 3 TD passes, 49ers beat Rams 24-16," 19 Oct. 2020 One week after getting stopped on an early fourth-and-1 gamble, the Niners converted in a big way. Josh Dubow, Star Tribune, "Jimmy Garoppolo throws 3 TD passes, 49ers beat Rams 24-16," 18 Oct. 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

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gamble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamble. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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 gamble (audio) \ noun

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Comments on gamble

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