wa·​ger | \ ˈwā-jər How to pronounce wager (audio) \

Definition of wager

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something (such as a sum of money) risked on an uncertain event : stake
b : something on which bets are laid : gamble do a stunt as a wager
2 archaic : an act of giving a pledge to take and abide by the result of some action


wagered; wagering\ ˈwāj-​riŋ How to pronounce wagering (audio) , ˈwā-​jə-​ \

Definition of wager (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from wager


wagerer \ ˈwā-​jər-​ər How to pronounce wagerer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for wager

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At Potawatomi Hotel & Casino on Saturday, a woman was in the high limit room playing a Wheel of Fortune Triple Double Diamond slot machine, which has a $5 minimum wager, and won $1.1 million. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Woman wins $1.1 million jackpot at Potawatomi," 4 Feb. 2020 Stick with the moneyline and ATS wagers, and PASS on the total. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "New Orleans Pelicans at Houston Rockets odds, picks and best bets," 2 Feb. 2020 Taking into account casino sports wagers, informal bets and dollars collected in office pools, bettors will wager about $6.8 billion, 13% more than in 2019 when $6 billion was waged. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "A good bet: More people will wager on this year's Super Bowl than ever before," 30 Jan. 2020 The website estimates that states have collected more than $82 million in taxes and fees from the wagers, with New Jersey topping the list at more than $32 million. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Mattress Mack bets big as sports betting spreads," 7 Oct. 2019 In the past, father and son have made a personal wager against each other in which the loser (and his caddy) have to endure a bracing splash hit — i.e., a jump into frigid Lake Tahoe. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "If it’s July, the Warriors’ Stephen Curry must be switching to his other favorite sport," 19 June 2019 Investors placed a sizable wager on Advanced Micro Devices long before the chipmaker showed up in Las Vegas on Monday. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "AMD Will Need to Keep Upping Its Game," 7 Jan. 2020 The legislation will also allow those casinos to set up theaters to accept wagers on live sporting events and also accept sports bets online. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Legal internet gaming, sports betting nears final OK in Michigan: What will change," 11 Dec. 2019 Now, bettors can place a wager at home or on the go via their smartphone. Washington Post, "Sports Betting," 2 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rose was banned from baseball more than 30 years ago based on a report by John Dowd, which alleged Rose bet on 52 Reds games as manager in 1987, wagering a minimum of $10,000 a day. David Mark, Washington Examiner, "Trump says Pete Rose should be in Baseball Hall of Fame," 9 Feb. 2020 Among the Aztecs, Patolli held unusually high stakes, with participants wagering not just physical goods or currency, but their own lives. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Best Board Games of the Ancient World," 6 Feb. 2020 Bean said the agency’s goal is to authorize onsite sports wagering at the Detroit casinos in the spring. David Eggert, Detroit Free Press, "Online sports betting in Michigan will wait until 2021," 22 Jan. 2020 Cybersecurity experts are squeamish about online mobile voting, but King County has decided to wager that election security risks are worth the potential payoff of people actually voting in a local election. TheWeek, "Seattle is letting everyone vote via smartphone in a local election," 22 Jan. 2020 Holzhauer won the second game with 30,000 points, Jennings earned another 18,400, and Rutter, far behind and forced to wager everything on Final Jeopardy, finished the game with 0. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "What's happened so far on Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time," 10 Jan. 2020 Three of the 13 tracks that year made a profit from wagering on greyhounds. April Simpson, chicagotribune.com, "Once one of America’s favorite pastimes, greyhound racing eats dust," 1 Nov. 2019 The sports betting market is exploding 16 months after a Supreme Court ruling last year that allowed states other than Nevada to offer wagering on games. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Mattress Mack bets big as sports betting spreads," 7 Oct. 2019 Michigan would join Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, among other states, in legalizing sports wagering since the U.S. Supreme Court 19 months ago opened the door for any state to do so. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Michigan makes move to become Ohio’s 4th neighbor with legal sports gambling," 12 Dec. 2019

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


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


1602, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for wager


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

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Time Traveler for wager

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wager

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wager.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wager. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for wager


How to pronounce wager (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wager

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an agreement in which people try to guess what will happen and the person who guesses wrong has to give something (such as money) to the person who guesses right
: the money or other valuable thing that you could win or lose in a bet



English Language Learners Definition of wager (Entry 2 of 2)

: to risk losing something (such as money) if your guess about what will happen is wrong
informal used in the phrase I'll wager to indicate what you think will happen or what you believe is probably true


wa·​ger | \ ˈwā-jər How to pronounce wager (audio) \

Kids Definition of wager

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : the act of betting


wagered; wagering

Kids Definition of wager (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bet on the result of a contest or question

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More from Merriam-Webster on wager

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wager

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wager

Spanish Central: Translation of wager

Nglish: Translation of wager for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wager

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