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
The mayor is gambling with the city’s future.
Many people are willing to gamble on the new treatment.
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.