lottery

noun, often attributive
lot·tery | \ ˈlä-tə-rē also ˈlä-trē \
plural lotteries

Definition of lottery 

1a : a drawing of lots in which prizes are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chance

b : a drawing of lots used to decide something

2 : an event or affair whose outcome is or seems to be determined by chance

Examples of lottery in a Sentence

They held a lottery to determine who could get a green card. Room assignments are determined by lottery. Life's a lottery, isn't it? It all depends on luck.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Nike’s latest effort comes at a time when picking a winning lottery number might be easier than predicting retail’s foggy future. Ronald D. White, latimes.com, "Nike knows what Angelenos like to buy. Its new data-driven store will stock those products," 12 July 2018 The Magic has struggled for six years — the last five ending up in the NBA lottery, including 25-57 last season. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Former Terps Huerter and Jackson will start their NBA careers with rebuilding teams," 22 June 2018 Next: Duke Primed For More NBA Draft Lottery Success Your video will play in: 5 seconds Duke Primed For More NBA Draft Lottery Success The Duke Blue Devils are a talent factory that has had a ton of success in the NBA Draft lottery. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Here's how Miami Heat got stuck in NBA purgatory. Now, can Pat Riley find a way out?," 22 June 2018 Next: Duke Primed For More NBA Draft Lottery Success Your video will play in: 5 seconds Duke Primed For More NBA Draft Lottery Success The Duke Blue Devils are a talent factory that has had a ton of success in the NBA Draft lottery. Scott Fowler, charlotteobserver, "Here’s why the Charlotte Hornets were so desperate to get rid of Dwight Howard," 20 June 2018 The Kings had moved up to second in the NBA draft lottery, five spots higher than where they were slotted. Jason Jones, sacbee, "The fate of Vlade Divac and the Kings hinges on getting this draft right," 20 June 2018 For More NBA Draft Lottery Success The Duke Blue Devils are a talent factory that has had a ton of success in the NBA Draft lottery. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Mavs get two picks in the top 5? Let us explain," 20 June 2018 One of the two companies involved in the Disney outsourcing, Cognizant Technology Solutions, was also the largest recipient of H-1B visas nationwide based on lottery numbers in 2017. Adelaide Chen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deloitte Consulting seeks foreign workers for Lake Mary center," 13 June 2018 When the Suns won the NBA draft lottery to secure the No. 1 overall pick in this month’s draft, there was plenty of speculation around what direction Phoenix would go. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Deandre Ayton says that he's certain he'll be picked No. 1 after his Suns workout," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lottery.' 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 lottery

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lottery

Middle French loterie, from Middle Dutch, from lot lot; akin to Old English hlot lot

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Learn More about lottery

Dictionary Entries near lottery

Lott

lotte

lotter

lottery

lottery bond

lottery wheel

lotto

Phrases Related to lottery

play the lottery

win the lottery

Statistics for lottery

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lottery

The first known use of lottery was in 1567

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More Definitions for lottery

lottery

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lottery

: a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., in which many tickets are sold and a few of the tickets are chosen by chance to win prizes

: a system used to decide who will get or be given something by choosing names or numbers by chance

: an event or situation in which what happens is decided by luck or chance

lottery

noun
lot·tery | \ ˈlä-tə-rē \
plural lotteries

Kids Definition of lottery

: a way of raising money in which many tickets are sold and a few of these are drawn to win prizes

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Comments on lottery

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