Definition of lottery in English:


Syllabification: lot·ter·y
Pronunciation: /ˈlätərē

noun (plural lotteries)

  • 1A means of raising money by selling numbered tickets and giving prizes to the holders of numbers drawn at random.
    More example sentences
    • In some countries that hold state lotteries, tickets with number 13 will never be sold.
    • All the Eastern States now are running lotteries to raise money in place of taxes.
    • Many state lotteries, particularly in Europe, are selling tickets online, and more will join.
    raffle, drawing, prize drawing, sweepstake(s), lotto
  • 1.1 [in singular] A process or thing whose success or outcome is governed by chance: the lottery of life
    More example sentences
    • Student music can often seem like a bit of a gamble, if not a complete lottery, as far as an evening out is concerned.
    • After all success with Atlantic Salmon is still the biggest lottery in fishing.
    • After that, it is a complete and utter lottery, but Spurs are a good cup team, and definitely worth a pound or two.
    gamble, speculation, venture, risk, game of chance, matter of luck
    informal crapshoot


mid 16th century: probably from Dutch loterij, from lot 'lot'.

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