sweep·​stakes | \ ˈswēp-ˌstāks How to pronounce sweepstakes (audio) \
also sweep-stake\ ˈswēp-​ˌstāk How to pronounce sweepstakes (audio) \

Definition of sweepstakes

1a : a race or contest in which the entire prize may be awarded to the winner specifically : stakes race
2 : any of various lotteries

Examples of sweepstakes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Michigan sweepstakes is open to residents who received a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 1 or later. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 15 July 2021 The sweepstakes provide a chance to recognize the heroes that keep youth sports running and to celebrate with weekly prizes. courant.com, 14 July 2021 Respond to this tweet with #LeanMacandCheesePlease and #sweepstakes. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 14 July 2021 Public health officials have gotten creative in their efforts to increase vaccination rates, with states offering incentives from sweepstakes worth millions of dollars to the chance to win hunting rifles for those who have gotten their shots. NBC News, 4 July 2021 Senior Bowl sweepstakes as part of the partnership. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 24 June 2021 To be sure, big-payoff sweepstakes, such as Ohio’s Vax-a-Million, have boosted turnout. BostonGlobe.com, 12 June 2021 His report on sweepstakes, lottery and prize scams found that con artists often talk to victims every day, building trusting relationships. CBS News, 10 June 2021 Customers ages 18 and older can enter the sweepstakes, which will run until July 10. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 June 2021

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

1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sweepstakes

Middle English swepestake one who wins all the stakes in a game, from swepen to sweep + stake

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Time Traveler for sweepstakes

Time Traveler

The first known use of sweepstakes was in 1774

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Statistics for sweepstakes

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sweepstakes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweepstakes. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for sweepstakes



English Language Learners Definition of sweepstakes

: a race or contest in which the winner receives all the prize money


noun plural
sweep·​stakes | \ ˈswēp-ˌstāks How to pronounce sweepstakes (audio) \

Kids Definition of sweepstakes

: a contest in which money or prizes are given to winners picked by chance (as by drawing names)
Hint: Sweepstakes can be used as a singular or a plural in writing and speaking.

More from Merriam-Webster on sweepstakes

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sweepstakes

Nglish: Translation of sweepstakes for Spanish Speakers


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