- to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes.
- to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance: to gamble on a toss of the dice.
- to lose or squander by betting (usually followed by away): He gambled all his hard-earned money away in one night.
- to wager or risk (money or something else of value): to gamble one's freedom.
- to take a chance on; venture; risk: I'm gambling that our new store will be a success.
- any matter or thing involving risk or hazardous uncertainty.
- a venture in a game of chance for stakes, especially for high stakes.
Origin of gamble
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gamble
But the decision now to sever economic ties with the eastern regions was a surprise—and a gamble.Eastern Ukraine Braces for ‘Full-Scale War’
November 17, 2014
Unfortunately, that gamble was at the expense of Miss America's supposed mission.The Real Housewives of Miss America
September 21, 2014
Vincent teaches young Oliver how to fight bullies, how to gamble, what a hooker is––you know, the important things in life.Meet Vincent McKenna, Your New Favorite Bill Murray Character
September 6, 2014
While CBS is taking a gamble on a relatively unknown (and unproven) talent, to many critics this decision was all too predictable.Late Night Adds Another White Dude: James Corden Replacing Craig Ferguson at ‘The Late Late Show’
August 5, 2014
Plus, Procter & Gamble has already removed triclosan from its Crest toothpaste.Antibacterial Soap’s Deadly Secret
May 21, 2014
He wouldn't stay a day longer than he had to, thought you could gamble on that.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Nevertheless, Mr. Jannissary was prepared to gamble on John's future.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
You have come to gamble, and your gambling is attended by every form of intemperance and immorality.The Christian
All these engineers and officers of ships took tickets in that gamble.End of the Tether
He loves a gamble, and is most amusing when he is in the mood.A Bride of the Plains
Baroness Emmuska Orczy
- (intr) to play games of chance to win money
- to risk or bet (money) on the outcome of an event, sport, etc
- (intr often foll by on) to act with the expectation ofto gamble on its being a sunny day
- (often foll by away) to lose by or as if by betting; squander
- a risky act or venture
- a bet, wager, or other risk or chance taken for possible monetary gain
Word Origin and History for gamble
1726 (implied in gambling), from a dialectal survival of Middle English gammlen, variant of gamenen "to play, jest, be merry," from Old English gamenian "to play, joke, pun," from gamen (see game). Or possibly gamble is from a derivative of gamel "to play games" (1590s), itself likely a frequentative from game. Originally regarded as a slang word. The intrusive -b- may be from confusion with gambol. Related: Gambled; gambling.
"risky venture," 1823, from gamble (v.).