Definition of gamble in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡambəl/


[no object]
1Play games of chance for money; bet: she was fond of gambling on cards and horses
More example sentences
  • This book offers a concise and to-the-point directory for anyone who gambles on the Internet or is interested in gambling on the Internet.
  • Appropriately for the son of a bookie, his career has often been about gambling on a long game.
  • Gambling does, and any player who gambles on baseball or sits with those who conspire to do so risks destroying the very foundation on which the game is built.
bet, place/lay a bet on something, stake money on something, back the horses, game
informal play the ponies
1.1 [with object] Bet (a sum of money) on a game of chance: he was gambling every penny he had on the spin of a wheel
More example sentences
  • He usually gambled sums of money between five and one hundred dollars, bottles of champagne, pairs of boots, or new hats.
  • Its annual budget was too modest and its financial future too uncertain to gamble big sums on expensive, start-from-scratch studies.
  • Instead firms are cutting the money they put into pension funds and telling workers to gamble their savings on the stockmarket through private schemes.
2Take risky action in the hope of a desired result: [with clause]: the British could only gamble that something would turn up
More example sentences
  • There are no glamorous high-tech stocks, even though it is always tempting as an investor to gamble on risky firms, he writes.
  • Investors began gambling on future returns and more patterns emerged.
  • Financial speculators, who are gambling on more chaos in the Middle East, are also pushing up prices.
take a chance, take a risk
informal stick one's neck out, go out on a limb


[usually in singular]
An act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success.
Example sentences
  • He paused and thought about doubling down, but seemed afraid to put out the extra money on such an insecure gamble.
  • Though many see the stock market as a casino, shares are not a gamble.
  • He's extremely talented and has good drive and business sense, but this is a gamble and could leave me in a bit of financial trouble if it fails.
bet, wager, speculation;
game of chance
risk, chance, hazard, shot in the dark, leap of faith;
pig in a poke, pot luck
rare salto mortale


Early 18th century: from obsolete gamel 'play games', or from the verb game1.

Words that rhyme with gamble

amble, bramble, Campbell, gambol, ramble, scramble, shamble

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gam·ble

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