The Meaning of Bet: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of bet? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word bet, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word bet mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of the English Language and other dictionaries like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word bet is a noun that refers to some stake or pledge between two or more parties that is risked on the outcome of an event, outcome of a contest, or outcome of an issue. This is also known as a wager. This can also be used in the phrase best bet and all bets are off, an idiom which stresses an uncertain outcome. This can also refer to the thing wagered on or a choice made by considering probability. Bet can also be used as a verb meaning to wager or to be able to be sure of a certain outcome, i.e. you bet. The past tense of bet is also bet. The pronunciation of bet is bɛt.

A good bet is one that is likely to go in your favor. A bad bet is one where you are likely to be the loser. If one loses a bet, they will likely have to forfeit a sum of money. People often bet on things like a sporting event where they bet on a team or competitor, playing poker, or playing the lottery. According to Dictionary and Urban Dictionary, the term bet is also a slang term of affirmation, approval and agreement. This is similar to the phrase “you bet,” and means okay, alright or for sure. This is used frequently in rap songs.

According to The Free Dictionary, the word bet when capitalized as BET can also stand for a plethora of different things as an acronym or abbreviation. Before using these, make sure that you provide the reader or listener with proper context so they can discern the correct meaning. 

  • Black Entertainment Television
  •   Benign Essential Tremor
  •   Barbados External Telecommunications Ltd.
  •   Black Ensemble Theater
  •   Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (technique of characterising solids)
  •   Brain Extraction Tool (medical imaging)
  •   Blurred Edge Time
  •   Biomedical Equipment Technology (various schools)
  •   Bugeye Technologies Inc (Calgary, AB, Canada)
  •   Bacon Egg & Tomato (sandwich)
  •   Basic Education and Training
  •   Brazil Eastern Time (GMT-0300)
  •   Blow-out Emergency Team
  •   Between
  •   Building Entrance Terminal
  •   Best Estimate of Trajectory
  •   Business Event Type
  •   South Beloit (Amtrak station code; South Beloit, IL)
  •   Business Entity Tax (various locations)
  •   Brunauer Emmett Teller (particle surface area measurements; aka Brunner Emmet Teller)
  •   Binary Encoded Ternary
  •   Bounded Exhaustive Testing (software development)
  •   Beryllium Worker Training
  •   Business English Teaching
  •   Bringing Everybody Together (Philadelphia, PA)
  •   Basic Execution Time
  •   Bit Error Tolerance
  •   Balloon Expulsion Test (constipation)
  •   Business Entities and their Types (computing)
  •   Built Environment Team (various organizations)
  •   Bachelor of Engineering Technology (course/degree)
  •   Bit Enhancement Technology
  •   Bigeye Tunny (FAO fish species code)
  •   Basic Economic Test
  •   Board of Estimate and Taxation (various locations)
  •   Bacterial Endotoxin Test
  •   Bethel, AK, USA – Bethel (Airport Code)
  •   Business Execution Team
  •   Broadcast Energy Transmitter (G.I. Joe: The Movie)
  •   Bureau d’Etudes Techniques (French: Office of Technical Studies; various consultancies)
  •   Bio-Engineering Team

What is the origin of bet?

According to Etymonline, the word bet has been used as a verb and noun since the 1590s. This was originally used to refer to petty criminals, but has been used to mean to wager something since 1600. It has been used in various American English slang terms since the mid-19th century, including bet your life, bet your boots, and you bet. 6.This word may be a shortening of the word abet or from the obsolete beet meaning to make good, related to the word better. This has referred to something that has been wagered since 1796. Related words include abet, betcha, better, betting, and bettor.

How can bet be used in a sentence?

The word bet can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition. Below are examples of bet. 

Beth bet that the best course of action was to spend the night at Ted’s house and drive home when the storm let up. This was a good alternative to trying to navigate heavy rain late at night.

The first person placed a two-dollar bet on the dark horse of the race. This was a new horse who had never raced before. The underdog won by a narrow margin of victory, and then he won over $100. After the result of a race came out, more people began to regard the point underdog with respect and placed a bet on him as well.

The teenage girl bet that she could figure out her ex’s new girlfriend by scrounging through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Her plan of action was to piece together every bit of info she could find.

The author bet that he could get picked up by publishers at Random House and Harpercollins Publishers if he could get a foot in the door. This degree of certainty was unmatched by his talent at the present time, which was the main contingent issue in his finding fame.

He bet a large sum of money on the Princeton University sports team and lost a hefty fee when the team lost to Harvard. He vowed never to gamble again, though he did have a trip to the casino booked.

Overall, the word bet refers to an act of gambling on a future event of a contest. One tries to predict a probable consequence to place money on. An incorrect prediction can cause someone to lose money. 


  1. BET – What does BET stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  2. bet – Slang dictionary | 
  3. Bet | Urban Dictionary 
  4. Bet | Definition of Bet | Merriam-Webster 
  5. bet | Origin and meaning of bet by Online Etymology Dictionary