pl.n. (used with a singular or plural verb)
1. A contest, often promoting a product or service, in which participants enter without paying to win usually one of several prizes. Winners are selected at random from the pool of entrants.
a. A lottery in which the participants' contributions form a fund that is awarded as a prize to one or several winners.
b. An event or contest, especially a horserace, the result of which determines the winner of such a lottery.
c. The prize won in such a lottery.
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.