See more synonyms for ante on
  1. Poker. a fixed but arbitrary stake put into the pot by each player before the deal.
  2. an amount of money paid in advance to insure an individual's share in a joint business venture.
  3. Informal. an individual's share of the total expenses incurred by a group.
  4. Informal. the price or cost of something.
verb (used with object), an·ted or an·teed, an·te·ing.
  1. Poker. to put (one's initial stake) into the pot.
  2. to produce or pay (one's share) (usually followed by up): He anted up his half of the bill.
verb (used without object), an·ted or an·teed, an·te·ing.
  1. Poker. to put one's initial stake into the pot.
  2. Informal. to pay (usually followed by up).

Origin of ante

1830–40, Americanism; independent use of ante-
Can be confusedante ante- anti- auntie Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ante up


  1. the gaming stake put up before the deal in poker by the players
  2. informal a sum of money representing a person's share, as in a syndicate
  3. up the ante informal to increase the costs, risks, or considerations involved in taking an action or reaching a conclusionwhenever they reached their goal, they upped the ante by setting more complex challenges for themselves
verb -tes, -teing, -ted or -teed
  1. to place (one's stake) in poker
  2. (usually foll by up) informal, mainly US to pay
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ante up


1838 (n.), 1846 (v.), American English poker slang, apparently from Latin ante "before," from PIE *anti "facing opposite, near, in front of, before" (cf. Sanskrit antah "end, border, boundary," Hittite hanti "opposite," Greek anta, anten "opposite," anti "over against, opposite, before;" Old Lithuanian anta "on to;" Gothic anda "along;" Old English and- "against;" German ent- "along, against"), from root *ant- "front, forehead."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ante up

ante up

Pay what is due, contribute; by extension, do one's share. For example, The trustees were asked to ante up $10,000 each for the new scholarship, or Tired of watching Joe sit around while they cleaned up, the roommates told him to ante up or move out. This expression comes from poker and other betting games, where to ante signifies making a bet or contribution to the pot before the cards are dealt. It was being used more loosely by the mid-1800s. Also see raise the ante.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.