v. gam·bled, gam·bling, gam·bles
a. To bet on an uncertain outcome, as of a game or sporting event.
b. To play a game for stakes, especially a game whose outcome is at least partly determined by chance.
2. To take a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit.
3. To engage in reckless or hazardous behavior: You are gambling with your health by continuing to smoke.
1. To put up as a stake in gambling; wager.
2. To expose to hazard; risk: gambled their lives in a dangerous rescue mission.
1. A bet, wager, or other gambling venture.
2. An act or undertaking of uncertain outcome; a risk: I took a gamble that stock prices would rise.
[Perhaps from obsolete gamel, to play games, from Middle English gamen, gamenen, to play, from Old English gamenian, from gamen, fun.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.