Definition of ante in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈanti/


A stake put up by a player in poker or brag before receiving cards: the antes were at the $10,000-$20,000 level
More example sentences
  • In Caribbean Poker you place an ante, receive a hand, and then decide whether or not you would like to bet.
  • After the ante, players are dealt seven cards face down, no-peek.
  • As in poker, the ante (the bets) goes in before the deal starts.

verb (antes, anteing, anted)

[with object] (ante something up)
1Put up an amount as an ante in poker or brag and similar games.
Example sentences
  • He essentially gets to pick which bets he thinks are best, and ante them up.
1.1North American informal Pay an amount of money in advance: he anted up $925,000 of his own money [no object]: the owners have to ante up if they want to attract the best talent
More example sentences
  • We're told it's because FOX didn't want to ante up money for her band.
  • In an era of budget surpluses, advocates argue, the federal government could ante up money for purchase of open space and farmland.
  • Perhaps these crazy ideas are just his way of forcing the federal government to ante up more money to the provinces for health care.


up (or raise) the ante

Increase what is at stake or under discussion, especially in a conflict or dispute: he decided to up the ante in the trade war
More example sentences
  • And, whenever new and useful information came in, she would up the ante by increasing the reward money.
  • With bottled water now boasting a retail value of 900m, Highland Spring is prepared to up the ante in an increasingly competitive market.
  • The film successful ups the ante with this brisk and charming story of a young girl from a righteous Sikh family who doesn't want to conform to the narrow community ways her mum so desperately maintains.


Early 19th century: from Latin, literally 'before'.

  • The expression up the ante, meaning ‘to increase what is at stake’, comes from the world of card games and gambling. Ante is a Latin word meaning ‘before’ and is a component of English words such as ante-room (mid 18th century) and antenatal (early 19th century). Ante was first used in English by American players of card games in the early 19th century for a stake put up by a player to start the betting before drawing the cards. ‘Upping’ (or ‘raising’) the ante is putting up a higher stake than your opponent in order to put more pressure on them.

Words that rhyme with ante

Alicante, andante, anti, Ashanti, Bramante, Chianti, Dante, dilettante, Fante, Ferranti, infante, scanty, shanty (US chanty), spumante, vigilante, Zante

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ante

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