- 1 [countable] a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc. by selling tickets that have different numbers on them that people have chosen. Numbers are then chosen by chance and the people who have those numbers on their tickets win prizes the state lottery a lottery ticket compare drawing (4), raffle
- 2[countable, uncountable] a way of choosing who will get something, for example tickets for an event, in which people's names are chosen by chance Students were selected by lottery, since demand for the program was high.
- 3 [singular] (often disapproving) a situation whose success or result is based on luck rather than on effort or careful organization synonym gamble Some people think that marriage is a lottery.