- a simple past tense and past participle of bet1.
verb (used with object), bet or bet·ted, bet·ting.
- to wager with (something or someone).
verb (used without object), bet or bet·ted, bet·ting.
- to make a wager: Do you want to bet?
- a pledge of a forfeit risked on some uncertain outcome; wager: Where do we place our bets?
- that which is pledged: a two-dollar bet.
- something that is bet on, as a competitor in a sporting event or a number in a lottery: That horse looks like a good bet.
- an act or instance of betting: It’s a bet, then?
- a person, plan of action, etc., considered as being a good alternative; choice: Your best bet is to sell your stocks now.
- you bet! Informal. of course! surely!: You bet I’d like to be there!
- an agreement between two parties that a sum of money or other stake will be paid by the loser to the party who correctly predicts the outcome of an event
- the money or stake risked
- the predicted result in such an agreementhis bet was that the horse would win
- a person, event, etc, considered as likely to succeed or occurit’s a good bet that they will succeed
- a course of action (esp in the phrase one’s best bet)
- informal an opinion; viewmy bet is that you’ve been up to no good
verb bets, betting, bet or betted
- (when intr foll by on or against) to make or place a bet with (a person or persons)
- (tr) to stake (money, etc) in a bet
- (tr; may take a clause as object) informal to predict (a certain outcome)I bet she fails
- you bet informal of course; naturally
1590s, as both a verb and noun, in the argot of petty criminals, of unknown origin; probably a shortening of abet or else from obsolete beet “to make good,” from Old English bætan “make better, arouse, stimulate,” from Proto-Germanic *baitjanan, in which case the verb would be the original. The original notion is perhaps “to improve” a contest by wagering on it, or it is from the “bait” sense in abet. Used since 1852 in various American English slang assertions (cf. you bet “be assured,” 1857). Related: Betting.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bet
- bet one’s ass
- bet on the wrong horse
- back (bet on) the wrong horse
- hedge one’s bets
- you bet your ass