Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: French
Origin: loterie, from Middle Dutch, from lot 'lot'

lottery

noun
     
Related topics: Gambling
lot‧te‧ry S3 plural lotteries
1 [countable]DGG a game used to make money for a state or a charity in which people buy tickets with a series of numbers on them. If their number is picked by chance, they win money or a prize [↪ raffle, draw]:
a lottery ticket
Do you really think winning the lottery would make you happy?
2 [uncountable and countable] American English a system of choosing who will get something by choosing people's names by chance
by lottery
The State Department issues 55,000 visas each year by lottery.
3

a lottery

a situation in which what happens depends on chance and is not certain to be successful:
That's the trouble with capitalism. It's a lottery.

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