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Borrowed from Italian lotteria, from the same root as Old English hlot (cognate with English lot). Compare French loterie (from Middle Dutch loterie). By surface analysis, lot +‎ -ery



lottery (plural lotteries)

  1. A scheme for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance, especially a gaming scheme in which one or more tickets bearing particular numbers draw prizes, the other tickets are blanks.
    Dave plays the lottery almost every week, but always picks different numbers.
  2. (figuratively) Something decided by chance.
    It's a bit of a lottery whether we'll get a good table in that diner.
  3. (obsolete) Allotment; a thing allotted.

Derived terms[edit]


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