Definition of tombola in English:



  • A game in which people pick tickets out of a revolving drum and certain tickets win immediate prizes, typically played at a fete or fair.

    ‘entrance includes a tombola and raffle’
    [mass noun] ‘traditional games such as tombola or bingo’
    • ‘The organisers are short of prizes for the tombola and raffle so would be very grateful of any donations.’
    • ‘The garden party includes cream teas, stalls, raffles, tombolas, homemade jams and marmalades.’
    • ‘There's a tombola, a raffle and any number of games for the kids to enjoy.’
    • ‘First, to all who so generously gave the prizes for the tombola, thank you.’
    • ‘She will be selling plants and small garden ornaments, light refreshments will be available and there will also be the chance to win a prize on a tombola.’
    • ‘There was plenty going on at the fête to entertain people, including a bouncy castle, go-karts and games as well as a huge range of stalls, raffles and tombolas.’
    • ‘Stalls selling everything from books and bric-a-brac to cakes and crafts will be on the agenda, as well as games, a tombola and a raffle.’
    • ‘There were also table football challenges, quizzes, raffles, tombolas and cake stalls.’
    • ‘There will be magic, stilt walking, fire juggling, competitions with prizes and a tombola.’
    • ‘We are being asked to provide help at the stalls and to donate prizes for the raffle, the tombola and the Mystery Bottle draw.’
    • ‘Attractions will include games, tombola, and a lucky dip as well as bric-a-brac sales.’
    • ‘Parents, children and grandparents were able to take their chances on lucky dips and tombolas and were also able to choose Christmas gifts from around 15 stalls selling such items as cuddly toys and candles.’
    • ‘Record numbers of people turned out to enjoy children's games, stalls, raffles and tombolas at the third annual Bishopthorpe Village Gala on Saturday - despite afternoon downpours.’
    • ‘There will be live entertainment on the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, along with pub games and a tombola.’
    • ‘Entrance costs £2.45 and there will also be a tombola and raffle.’
    • ‘The fair, on November 1 at 2.30 pm, will have tombolas, lucky dips, a ball pool and craft stalls.’
    • ‘The money seems to have been taken from one of the main games like the tombola or raffle.’
    • ‘On offer at the open day will be information about organic growing, live music, tombola, raffle, games and refreshments in the café.’
    • ‘There were plenty of games, many of which had been made by the children themselves including a coconut shy, ball games and a tombola.’
    • ‘The 43rd annual show will include refreshments, a plant sale, a tombola and a raffle.’
    lottery, sweepstake, sweep, tombola, ballot
    View synonyms


Late 19th century: from French or Italian, from Italian tombolare turn a somersault.