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 , ˈwā-​jə-​ How to pronounce wager (audio) \

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

Other Words from wager


wagerer \ ˈwā-​jər-​ər How to pronounce wager (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 By mentioning Álvarez’s controversial history, Plant has placed a massive wager on himself. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2021 Trained by Michael McCarthy, Ce Ce covered the seven furlongs in 1:21 and paid $14.40 to win, $5.20 to place and $2.40 to show on a $2 wager. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 6 Nov. 2021 As part of a yearly tradition, the mayors of the two World Series participants have placed a friendly wager with each other. Steve Almasy And Raja Razek, CNN, 27 Oct. 2021 Ignore Stevenson’s money line, but there’s a solid value in wager on Stevenson winning by decision at -138. Josh Katzowitz, Forbes, 23 Oct. 2021 Like the two mayors, the two governors made the wager during the NBA Finals. Christopher Kuhagen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2021 Michael Burry, the investor who rose to fame for making billions off bets against mortgage securities during the financial crisis, has placed a sizable wager against Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. Jeremy Herron, Fortune, 18 May 2021 Indiana Grand is supporting its hometown filly by offering the first 200 fans in attendance on Friday a $20 win wager on her. Beth Harris, ajc, 4 Nov. 2021 Billboard is hosting biweekly head-to-head challenges on entertainment and pop culture gaming app VersusGame, where fans can vote on their favorite artists and songs and wager on who will top the charts and more. Xander Zellner, Billboard, 2 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Short sellers wager on stock-price declines by borrowing shares, selling them, then aiming to buy them back at lower prices. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2021 That means four more full weeks of football on which to wager – including MAC games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting this week. Christopher Smith, al, 31 Oct. 2021 The biweekly head-to-head challenges allow users to wager on which artists will top the Billboard charts for a chance to win prizes and reward them for their accurate predictions. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 29 Oct. 2021 Federal-funds futures, which investors use to wager on interest rate policy, recently showed a 51% chance of a rate increase by July 2022 and 75% by September 2022. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 If passed by voters, Floridians 21 years old and up could wager on sports online, as well as professional sports venues and pari-mutuel facilities, which include horse racing tracks and jai alai arenas. Skyler Swisher, orlandosentinel.com, 6 Aug. 2021 New York legalized online sports gambling in April, but until the state negotiates a deal with an operator — which is likely to take months — bettors cannot wager on sporting events on their phones within the state lines. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 In the three weeks before Maryland lays down the rules for how much people can wager and what aspects of games will be subject to bets, the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency is considering 351 pages of public comments. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, 1 Oct. 2021 Those looking to wager on Sunday’s action can find some picks and predictions for the afternoon games by clicking here. Alex Kay, Forbes, 12 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near wager

wage level


wage rate

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Statistics for wager

Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wager.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wager. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for wager



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 : bet
: 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 : bet
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

More from Merriam-Webster on wager

Nglish: Translation of wager for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wager


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