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 Some Katie Beckett families waited weeks before their coverage was restored, leaving parents to gamble their finances and their children’s health. Lexi Churchill, ProPublica, "The Trump Administration Cracked Down on Medicaid. Kids Lost Insurance.," 31 Oct. 2019 So the city hopes to attract Chinese tourists, who are not allowed to gamble in their home country. Julie Zaugg, CNN, "How Cambodia's backpacker haven became a Chinese casino mecca," 4 Oct. 2019 The company places an emphasis on creativity, and many of the Virgin brands focus on helping people have fun, from riding hot air balloon rides, taking vacations or going online to purchase wine and to gamble. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Create things you can be proud of, billionaire Richard Branson tells Denver audience," 27 Sep. 2019 Because drillers can, once again, afford to gamble a bit. Alex Nussbaum, Houston Chronicle, "Aging oil play getting new life," 15 June 2018 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Of course, that gamble would have peaked near $12,000 in August before tapering off rather dramatically. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "What to tell your family about bitcoin this Thanksgiving," 27 Nov. 2019 Instead of going for 2 points and the victory, Reno had Tuckerman, who’d booted three field goals (34, 32, and 35 yards), kick the extra point and gamble on overtime. BostonGlobe.com, "NEW HAVEN — It took more than half a century but Yale’s football team finally got payback for 29-29 and all that.," 24 Nov. 2019 Oregon State wrapped it up by winning two huge gambles during the final two minutes. oregonlive, "Wild finish, wilder postgame scene punctuate Oregon State’s 35-34 win over Arizona State," 17 Nov. 2019 Hamlin fell out of contention when an aggressive aerodynamic gamble backfired because a large piece of tape placed across the front of his car caused his engine to overheat. Jenna Fryer, Houston Chronicle, "Kyle Busch wins his 2nd NASCAR championship," 17 Nov. 2019 Yet despite this the election remains a big gamble for the prime minister, for several reasons. The Economist, "Boris Johnson gets his Christmas election," 29 Oct. 2019 At this point in the N.F.L., there is no greater gamble than bringing in Kaepernick. New York Times, "Could These Teams Use a Quarterback Like Colin Kaepernick?," 13 Nov. 2019 The Eagles’ gamble on fourth down resulted in a Philadelphia touchdown. BostonGlobe.com, "Ahead of this week’s rematch, Tom Brady says he’s still not quite over Super Bowl loss to Eagles - The Boston Globe," 12 Nov. 2019 The Hansson and Wozniak episodes show that would be quite a gamble. Alex Webb And Elisa Martinuzzi | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The Apple Card Is Sexist. Blaming the Algorithm Is Proof.," 11 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for gamble

Time Traveler

The first known use of gamble was in 1757

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Statistics for gamble

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gamble.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gambler. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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