[ sweep-steyks ]
/ ˈswipˌsteɪks /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

a race or other contest for which the prize consists of the stakes contributed by the various competitors.
the prize itself.
a lottery in which winning tickets are selected at random, each winning-ticket number then being matched to one of the horses nominated for or entered in a specific race, and the amounts paid the winners being determined by the finishing order of the horses that run.
any gambling transaction in which each of a number of persons contributes a stake, and the stakes are awarded to one or several winners.
a risky venture that promises large rewards: the high-tech sweepstakes.

Origin of sweepstakes

1485–95; earlier swepestake orig., a person who won all the stakes in a game; see sweep1, stake2, -s3

Definition for sweepstakes (2 of 2)

[ sweep-steyk ]
/ ˈswipˌsteɪk /


a sweepstakes.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sweepstakes

British Dictionary definitions for sweepstakes


esp US sweepstakes

/ (ˈswiːpˌsteɪk) /


  1. a lottery in which the stakes of the participants constitute the prize
  2. the prize itself
any event involving a lottery, esp a horse race in which the prize is the competitors' stakes
Often shortened to: sweep

Word Origin for sweepstake

C15: originally referring to someone who sweeps or takes all the stakes in a game
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