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

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 gambler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for gamble

Synonyms: Verb

bet, go, lay, play, put, stake, wager

Synonyms: Noun

adventure, chance, crapshoot, enterprise, flier (also flyer), flutter [chiefly British], 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's not a business plan, that's gambling a century or more of history, the love of generations of fans, an entire community, on the idea of hitting it big. SI.com, "Bury FC Is Functionally Dead. What Next?," 28 Aug. 2019 Those donors might not be thrilled about the idea of Texans getting a new way to gamble their money within their own borders. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "In Texas, legal sports betting still a long shot," 14 May 2018 Yet the Tories have gambled, choosing a populist leader who is nobody’s idea of a safe pair of hands. The Economist, "To stop no-deal, Tory MPs must be ready to bring down Boris Johnson," 27 July 2019 When Stroman threw a pitch wide of Jansen, Urshela gambled by racing home. James Wagner, New York Times, "Gio Urshela Keeps Doing All the Little Things for the Yankees," 14 July 2019 The Wings gambled on Phillips with their fourth-round pick at the 2019 draft, seeing potential in the undersized forward because of his speed and creativity. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Ethan Phillips has special connection to a Detroit Red Wings legend," 26 June 2019 Once all the new sites are up and running, and adding the 10 casinos already operating in Illinois, the state will offer some 25,200 betting positions for those who want to gamble to their heart’s content. Charles Selle, Lake County News-Sun, "Selle: Waukegan's bid to land a casino goes back to 1990 on the Waukegan River," 5 June 2019 In bringing Fortnite to Android this summer, Epic gambled that the biggest video game phenomenon in the world could find success without relying on the centralized Google Play storefront (and its 30 percent cut of all revenues). Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Fortnite reaches 15 million Android downloads without Google Play," 7 Sep. 2018 The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes pitched the $300 million project to stop gambling dollars from heading to a new MGM casino in Springfield. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Sports betting, a Bridgeport casino and esports at the XL Center. Here’s how expanded gambling could play out in Connecticut.," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Feige also has been tasked with shepherding a significant lineup of original Marvel Studios shows for the company’s all-important streaming service Disney+, which is expected to launch Nov. 12 in a high-stakes gamble to take on Netflix. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Spider-Man is leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Sony and Disney talks fall apart," 20 Aug. 2019 Bit of a gamble: Indiana can rest easy after its governor, Republican Eric Holcomb, was cleared of violating state laws or ethics by flying on private planes paid for by casino executives, the Northwest Indiana Times’ Dan Carden reports. Seth A. Richardson, cleveland.com, "Trump’s tariffs hitting businesses and farmers in Flyover states: The Flyover," 9 Aug. 2019 The owner of the Mall of America has put up Minnesota’s signature retail destination as collateral in a high-stakes gamble on a new mega-attraction in the shadow of New York City. Eric Roper, chicagotribune.com, "Mall of America owner puts megamall on the line for massive New Jersey project," 6 Aug. 2019 Texas seems like a bit of a gamble, with 27% of emergency room visits and 38% of in-network hospital stays triggering at least one such bill. CBS News, "Surprise medical bills: Congress aims to ease the pain," 20 June 2019 Texas seems like a bit of a gamble, with 27% of emergency room visits and 38% of in-network hospital stays triggering at least one such bill. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Denver Post, "1 in 6 ER visits or hospital stays triggers a “surprise” medical bill," 20 June 2019 Texas seems like a bit of a gamble, with 27% of emergency room visits and 38% of in-network hospital stays triggering at least one such bill. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Houston Chronicle, "1 in 6 ER visits or hospital stays triggers 'surprise' bill," 20 June 2019 Brash, impulsive leaders who only a few months ago taunted each other across a nuclear abyss, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim set aside their threats in a gamble that for now, at least, personal diplomacy can counteract decades of enmity and distrust. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Trump and Kim See New Chapter for Nations After Summit," 11 June 2018 Prediction: The Cubs see the value in the gamble. 13. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "MLB trade targets: Top 20 players who could move by the deadline," 29 May 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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Statistics for gamble

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gamble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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