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sweepstakes

[sweep-steyks] /ˈswipˌsteɪks/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
1.
a race or other contest for which the prize consists of the stakes contributed by the various competitors.
2.
the prize itself.
3.
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.
4.
lottery (def 2).
5.
any gambling transaction in which each of a number of persons contributes a stake, and the stakes are awarded to one or several winners.
6.
a risky venture that promises large rewards:
the high-tech sweepstakes.
Origin of sweepstakes
1485-1495
1485-95; earlier swepestake orig., a person who won all the stakes in a game; see sweep1, stake2, -s3

sweepstake

[sweep-steyk] /ˈswipˌsteɪk/
noun
1.
a sweepstakes.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for sweepstakes

sweepstake

/ˈswiːpˌsteɪk/
noun
1.
  1. a lottery in which the stakes of the participants constitute the prize
  2. the prize itself
2.
any event involving a lottery, esp a horse race in which the prize is the competitors' stakes
Often shortened to sweep
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for sweepstakes
n.

"prize won in a race or contest," 1773, from Middle English swepestake "one who sweeps or wins all the stakes in a game" (late 15c., as the name of one of the King's ships), from swepen "sweep" (see sweep (v.)) + stake (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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20
21
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