Gambol vs. gamble

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To gambol is to playfully skip or frolic. It is spelled as gamboling and gamboled inside the US, and makes gambolling and gambolled outside the United States. However, it is gambol everywhere.

To gamble is to bet money or take a risky action. It makes gambled and gambling and is spelled the same everywhere.

gamble is something that is especially risky or without assurance. Usually it is paired with the verb take, as in taking a gamble.

A gambler is someone who gambles.


Silently we watch them gambol, two extraordinary creatures doing, for them, the ordinary. [The West Australian]

Under Christopher Carter Sanderson’s direction, audiences will chase fairies, lovers and rude mechanicals as they gambol through the park. [NY Times]

Visions of our idyllic long weekend making sandcastles on the beach and gambolling with sheep and ponies in the New Forest were morphing into four damp, irritable people getting on each other’s nerves in the confines of a tiny caravan. [Bristol Post]

His lambs had gambolled away, in different directions. [Guardian]

But even if polished, the material would still be earnest and bland, mainly illustrations of the lyrics padded with gamboling and some sloppy clog-dancing, all smiles and no bite. [NY Times]

Even if change is “turbo-charged”, the decision to embark on a bargain-basement revolution may prove the biggest gamble by Labour’s cautious leader. [Telegraph]

Filmmaking is not gambling, but like every other business, it is unpredictable. [Times of India]

Surprisingly, Orman’s ambivalence hasn’t hurt him—the latest polls show Kansans may be prepared to take a gamble on the newcomer rather than endure a fourth Roberts term. [National Journal]