the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes.
the act or practice of risking the loss of something important by taking a chance or acting recklessly: If you don't back up your data, that's gambling.

gamble + -ing1 Unabridged


verb (used without object), gambled, gambling.
to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes.
to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance: to gamble on a toss of the dice.
verb (used with object), gambled, gambling.
to lose or squander by betting (usually followed by away ): He gambled all his hard-earned money away in one night.
to wager or risk (money or something else of value): to gamble one's freedom.
to take a chance on; venture; risk: I'm gambling that our new store will be a success.
any matter or thing involving risk or hazardous uncertainty.
a venture in a game of chance for stakes, especially for high stakes.

1150–1200; Middle English gamenen to play (Old English gamenian), with substitution of -le for -en; see game1

gambler, noun
antigambling, adjective
nongambler, noun
outgamble, verb (used with object), outgambled, outgambling.
overgamble, verb (used with object), overgambled, overgambling.
progambling, adjective
regamble, verb, regambled, regambling.
ungambled, adjective
ungambling, adjective

gamble, gambol.

6. venture, hazard, speculation, flyer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gamble (ˈɡæmbəl)
vb (often foll by on)
1.  (intr) to play games of chance to win money
2.  to risk or bet (money) on the outcome of an event, sport, etc
3.  to act with the expectation of: to gamble on its being a sunny day
4.  (often foll by away) to lose by or as if by betting; squander
5.  a risky act or venture
6.  a bet, wager, or other risk or chance taken for possible monetary gain
[C18: probably variant of game1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1726 (implied in gambling), from a dialectal survival of M.E. gammlen, variant of gamenen "to play, jest, be merry," from O.E. gamenian "to play," from gamen (see game). Or possibly gamble is from a derivative of gamel "to play games" (1594), itself likely a frequentative from
game. Originally regarded as a slang word. The intrusive -b- may be from confusion with gambol. Related: Gambled; gambling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Debts contracted by betting, gambling, or verbal promise.
He used to be always gambling and card-playing and drinking, but his father never minded his bad habits, and never punished him.
It taught him gambling as its first lesson, and stealing as the next.
But when they got there, their intentions turned to drugs, alcohol and gambling.
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