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.