Definition of gamble in English:


Line breaks: gam¦ble
Pronunciation: /ˈgamb(ə)l


[no object]
  • 1Play games of chance for money; bet: he gambles on football
    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, wager, place a bet, lay a bet, stake money on something, back the horses, try one's luck on the horses
    informal play the ponies
    British informal punt, chance one's arm, have a flutter
    rare game
  • 1.1 [with object] Bet (a sum of money): they gambled their money on cards
    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.


[usually in singular] Back to top  
  • 1An act of gambling: Dad likes a bit of a gamble
    More 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
    British informal flutter, punt
  • 2A risky action undertaken with the hope of success: we decided to take a gamble and offer him a place on our staff
    More example sentences
    • If reliability is unknown or unknowable, then they just charge a high premium and take a gamble, hoping to spread a loss to other less-risky areas.
    • Some guests want to know at the time of booking precisely what cabin they will have and others are willing to take a gamble in exchange for an upgrade.
    • The money stream was very fresh, and they were willing to take a gamble on buying a house and spending as much or more on a remodel.
    risk, chance, hazard, speculation, venture, random shot, leap in the dark; pig in a poke, pot luck, blind bargain; lottery


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

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