Definition of vigorish in English:



  • 1[in singular] An excessive rate of interest on a loan, typically one from an illegal moneylender.

    • ‘It's that kind of power, the power of the gangster who doesn't produce anything, but he collects from the entire neighborhood, because he breaks windows, and ruins the laundry, and collect his vigorish.’
    • ‘If your house is certain to burn down (never mind why…), you either have to keep that fact from the insurance company or be prepared to pay the insurance company just as much as it will ultimately pay you, plus the vigorish - which is pointless.’
  • 2The percentage deducted from a gambler's winnings by the organizers of a game.

    • ‘One advantage often overlooked is that baseball parlays pay true odds, whereas the fixed parlay pay-offs in football and baskets includes increasingly higher vigorish as the numbers of teams increase.’
    • ‘Canbet also offers perpetually reduced vigorish on straight bets and parlays.’
    • ‘These outlandish margins on futures compare to the more normal vigorish of 10% on standard bets (such as which team is going to win a particular game).’
    • ‘Which translated means that when the pair of academics looked at NFL results against the line for the period 1976 to 1994 they found that you could beat the vigorish by backing all the home dogs.’
    • ‘Worst-case scenario is a push, where you lose only the vigorish.’
    • ‘With the vigorish, $21 out on a Buy nets $39 while $41 on a Lay yields $19.’


Early 20th century: probably from Yiddish, from Russian vyigrysh gain, winnings.