verb (bets, betting; past and past participle bet or betted)
- 1 [no object] Risk a sum of money or valued item against someone else’s on the basis of the outcome of an unpredictable event such as a race or game: he bet on baseball games [with clause]: I would be prepared to bet that he wanted to leave [with object]: most people would bet their life savings on the prospectMore example sentences
- The losing trialist also scored a hefty reward, from betting on himself to win his heat and se mi-final as well as from the money he was allowed to bet on the race winner at long odds.
- The Racing Act was amended to provide for cross-species wagering - betting on greyhound races at horse tracks and vice versa.
- Prosecutors said he also ran an illegal gambling operation that bet on professional baseball games.
- 1.1 [with object and clause] Risk a sum of money against (someone) on the outcome or likelihood of a future event: [with two objects]: I bet you £15 you won’t chat her upMore example sentences
- I praised him to encourage him, but then wished I hadn't when he bet me his pocket money that he could beat me.
- Giles was so confident in his boast, that he actually bet us money that he was right.
- But at this point I will bet you a substantial sum of money.
- 2 [with clause] • informal Used to express certainty: I bet this place is really spooky late at night he’ll be surprised to see me, I’ll betMore example sentences
- I bet that idea would make a lot of property developers very happy, from their luxury homes in Port Douglas…
- I bet that Belgian's going to get into trouble with the Mini Owner's Association…
- You have to love that last line. I bet that defense goes over REAL big at their war crime trials.
nounBack to top
- 1An act of betting a sum of money: she had a bet on the Derby for a bet he once rode 200 miles in nine hoursMore example sentences
wager, stake, gamble, ante; each-way bet, place bet, ante-post bet, daily double, side bet, Yankee; British accumulator, tricast; North American perfecta, quinella, trifecta• informal long shotbet, gamble, speculation, venture, game of chance; stake, pledge, hazard, anteBritish • informal flutter
- A quinella is a bet on the first two horses; it is not, as some people believe, a Mexican cheese pie.
- Seven years ago I wouldn't have wagered a bet on him still playing rugby at the age of 30.
- For once-a-year punters who do not want to go to a betting shop, placing a bet on the world's most famous steeplechase can be done from the comfort of an armchair these days.
- 1.1A sum of money staked: the bookies are taking bets on his possible successorMore example sentences
- The stake was a bet of £1 that he would beat his opponent.
- The stakes of the bet are low - for us - but for them, they're very high.
- First, I was forced to quit my job, but then I found a way to earn lot's of money by placing bets on the foreign currency markets.
- 1.2 [with adjective] • informal A candidate or option offering a specified likelihood of success: City looked a good bet for victory your best bet is to call the official liquidatorsMore example sentences
- But as MD of one of the country's major construction companies, MacDonald has to be a good bet to achieve success with these ambitious plans.
- If you can't stomach him, the Green candidate is probably a good bet.
- When Ebay bought the successful Chinese internet auction house Eachnet they made a good bet.
- 1.3 (one's bet) • informal One’s opinion about a future event: my bet is that Arsenal won’t win anythingMore example sentences
- My bet is that Ebay will be sweating from the competition in a year or two.
- I am not an expert on figuring out if the video has been tampered with or not, but my bet is that the YouTube video has been tampered.
- My bet is that the Court will issue a stay based on him, for the same reasons from which, as Simon noted earlier, the Justice dissented in another recent case.
all bets are off
- • informal The outcome of a situation is unpredictable: when they get lonely all bets are offMore example sentences
- Fly through passes in mountainous terrain where venturi-fed winds can be fickle and unpredictable, and all bets are off.
- Either way, it is a safe bet you'll enjoy it - otherwise all bets are off.
- Whatever their feelings, all bets are off, and tomorrow you can bet they will do whatever the hell they feel like doing.
bet the farm
- North American • informal Risk everything that one owns on a bet, investment, or enterprise: this isn’t a great time to bet the farm on the InternetMore example sentences
- There may be large practical differences between the candidates (true or false, we're betting the farm on it), but they disagree little on first principles.
- Secondly, we're kind of betting the farm on Tamiflu, and that's not a great idea.
- At the same time they've bet the farm on swiss-cheese treaties, the Europeans have pared their military spending to the point where the entire continent now has approximately the same force-projecting power as the Swiss navy.
don't (or I wouldn't) bet on it
- • informal Used to express doubt about something: he may be a suitable companion—but don’t bet on itMore example sentences
- The DA said this boy won't raise a civil case, but don't bet on it.
- But don't bet on it because I've been watching from the beginning and I'm still not sure what's going on.
- That may change when the new bank ‘switching’ code comes into effect next week - but don't bet on it.
want to bet?
- • informal Used to express strong disagreement with a confident assertion: ‘You can’t be with me every moment.’ ‘Want to bet?’More example sentences
- When the pastor challenged the man with the notion that evolution might one day be laughed at by his grandchildren, he response was simply to retort angrily ‘do you want to bet?’
- Estrella turned around, and looked him in the face with a challenging expression, as if to say, ‘Do you want to bet?’
- Michael surprisingly then turned on his heal and added quickly, ‘want to bet?’
- • informal You may be sure; certainly: ‘Would you like this piece of pie?’ ‘You bet!’More example sentences
- It's no fun going after someone who has no experience on television but a really smart statesman and politician like him, you bet.
- And you bet your life, it's changed politics tremendously.
- Come 1986 when I was sober and I was out of the business and I was 18-years-old, you bet I worried about it.
late 16th century: perhaps a shortening of the obsolete noun abet 'abetment'.