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wa·​ger ˈwā-jər How to pronounce wager (audio)
: something (such as a sum of money) risked on an uncertain event : stake
: something on which bets are laid : gamble
do a stunt as a wager
archaic : an act of giving a pledge to take and abide by the result of some action


2 of 2


wagered; wagering
ˈwā-jə- How to pronounce wager (audio)

intransitive verb

: to make a bet

transitive verb

: to risk or venture on a final outcome
specifically : to lay as a gamble : bet
wager $5 on a horse
wagerer noun

Examples of wager in a Sentence

Noun He has a wager on the game. I don't think the horse will win. What's your wager? Verb She wagered $50 on the game. I wouldn't wager against them.
Recent Examples on the Web
In Northern Kentucky, sports bettors can place their wagers in person at Newport Racing & Gaming and in Florence, where Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman will be placing the first best at Turfway Park Racing & Gaming. Jolene Almendarez, The Enquirer, 7 Sep. 2023 Their wagers were mostly small — a few hundred euros each — ostensibly to avoid scrutiny. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 As sports betting kicks off across Kentucky, here's a look at the NCAA's gambling policy, its punishments for athletes who place wagers and how the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky are addressing the change: What is the NCAA's policy on sports gambling? The Courier-Journal, 6 Sep. 2023 That boosted wagers that the Federal Reserve could hold interest rates steady at its next meeting, but traders are less certain about the Fed’s moves in later in the year. Hardika Singh, WSJ, 5 Sep. 2023 In pari-mutuel wagers, all bets are pooled and divided among those with winning tickets. Ben Botkin, oregonlive, 10 Aug. 2023 If a player wins money and puts their money on a second wager, it’s counted again. Sean McDonnell, cleveland, 8 Aug. 2023 The impact of trade deadline activity is sure to shift MLB odds in multiple ways, from future bets like World Series winners to game-by-game wagers. Richard Morin, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023 Elisa Milan started her empanada business because of a wager. Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun, 19 July 2023
In many states, people can now wager from anywhere with the tap of a smartphone app, 24 hours a day, betting not only on the winners of games but on a seemingly limitless series of events that occur during the games. David A. Lieb, The Enquirer, 7 Sep. 2023 Three weeks later, the process will become even easier, with mobile applications allowing users to wager from anywhere. The Courier-Journal, 6 Sep. 2023 Ohio bettors can wager now at FanDuel in Ohio and other sportsbooks in the state, including Barstool Sportsbook, Caesars and DraftKings. Sean McDonnell, cleveland, 5 Sep. 2023 In the Big Cash Second Chance game, players earn one entry for every $0.50 wagered playing the eligible games. Doc Louallen, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 For now, only PPA matches can be legally wagered on in Massachusetts. Michael Silverman, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2023 In the first quarter of 2023, Americans wagered a record $31.11 billion on sports—a 15 percent increase compared with the same period in 2022. Rachel Epstein, Men's Health, 22 Aug. 2023 Some analysts and investors are wagering that this rate hike is indeed the Fed's last, despite Powell keeping further hikes on the table. WSJ, 26 July 2023 In America, 34 states have now legalized sports gambling, and Americans have wagered $245 billion since the 2018 Supreme Court decision. Will Bedingfield, WIRED, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wager.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English wageour pledge, bet, from Anglo-French wageure, from *wager

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1602, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of wager was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near wager

Cite this Entry

“Wager.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wager. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
wa·​ger ˈwā-jər How to pronounce wager (audio)
: something (as a sum of money) risked on an uncertain event : bet
: something (as the outcome of a game or race) on which a bet is made
: gamble


2 of 2 verb
wagered; wagering ˈwāj-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce wager (audio)
: to bet on the outcome of a contest or question
wagerer noun

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