Verb > Gamble

1 [no object] : to play a game in which you can win or lose money or possessions : to bet money or other valuable things

I like to gamble.

He’s been drinking and gambling heavily.

gambling at cards

— often + on

She likes to gamble on football games.

2 [+ object] a : to risk losing (an amount of money) in a game or bet — often + on

He would often gamble hundreds of dollars on a hand of poker.

2 b : to risk losing (something valuable or important) in order to do or achieve something — often + on

She gambled [=risked] everything she owned to start the business.

The company is gambling [=betting, risking] everything on this strategy.

3 : to do something that could have the good result that you want or a bad result that you cannot control — often + on

[no object]

The mayor is gambling with the city’s future.

Many people are willing to gamble on the new treatment.

[+ object]

The mayor is gambling that the new policies will help rather than hurt the city.

gambler /ˈgæmblɚ/ noun, plural gamblers [count]

The casino attracts many wealthy gamblers.