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

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 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 In 1960, after more than a decade of gathering information on Patrick and his operations, federal agents charged him with conspiracy to gamble. Mick Dumke, ProPublica, "“Power Companies Get Exactly What They Want”: How Texas Repeatedly Failed to Protect Its Power Grid Against Extreme Weather," 28 Feb. 2021 Musk long ago revealed himself as a purveyor of impossible infrastructure projects and exploiter of labor willing to gamble with the fortunes of his fans, who hang on his every tweet. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Tesla’s Bitcoin Buy Is a Reckless, Destructive Troll," 8 Feb. 2021 The owners predicted that COVID would be around for a while and were willing to gamble that these would be needed a lot longer than the city had initially stated. Diana Budds, Curbed, "GRT Architects Designs Streeteries That Can Outlast the Pandemic," 2 Feb. 2021 Refused to gamble with negligible risk, even in Vegas. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Nick Canepa’s Chargers report card: at Raiders," 17 Dec. 2020 Even as the pandemic takes its toll on tourism, immersive museums and experiential art centers are expanding to new cities and wooing investors willing to gamble on the future of the emerging industry. New York Times, "Entrepreneurs Bet Big on Immersive Art Despite Covid-19," 10 Jan. 2021 Historically, Van Gundy has instructed his teams not to gamble. Christian Clark, NOLA.com, "Stan Van has a plan: How the Pelicans' new coach will try to lead a defensive turnaround," 5 Dec. 2020 Instead those council members, all of whom endorsed Williams’ opponent, will now have to decide whether to gamble on the at-large seat or make comparatively safe re-election bids in the fall elections. Jeff Adelson, NOLA.com, "New Orleans City Council seeks applicants for interim councilmember," 11 Jan. 2021 Dog racing's demise comes as Americans — at least pre-coronavirus — gamble more than ever before. NBC News, "Dog days of Florida come to an end, with total demise of U.S. greyhound racing within sight," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The gamble that Uke took is one that’s been a factor in recruiting since the advent of the early signing period in 2017. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "For some high school football stars, the gamble of waiting until national signing day paid off," 3 Feb. 2021 But the creative gamble of Carey Williams' feature debut at Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night paid off anyway. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Sundance: 'R#J' explores what would happen if Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' chatted on Instagram," 31 Jan. 2021 The fourth-down gamble that sealed the win over Cleveland last weekend surprised plenty of people. Barry Wilner, ajc, "Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game," 22 Jan. 2021 The fourth-down gamble that sealed the win over Cleveland last weekend surprised plenty of people. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game," 22 Jan. 2021 That gamble will be one of the most prominent stories for the Pistons this season. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Why Troy Weaver and Detroit Pistons are betting big on Jerami Grant," 4 Dec. 2020 Second, the gamble appeared to be based on bad information. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Mike Finger: When risk is weighed against reward, some miscalculate," 29 Nov. 2020 But with Britain operating new post-Brexit trading rules, a journey that used to be routine is now a high-stakes gamble for the exporter Paul Knight, managing director of PDK Shellfish. New York Times, "For Some Scottish Seafood Businesses, Brexit Could Be a Death Knell," 13 Jan. 2021 Unlike the risk of a bike accident, the risks posed by the virus radiated off of everything, turning the littlest things—a burrito!—into a gamble. Gregory Barber, Wired, "How Many Microcovids Would You Spend on a Burrito?," 12 Jan. 2021

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

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gamble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamble. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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 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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