Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

jeopardy

play
noun jeop·ar·dy \ˈje-pər-dē\

Definition of jeopardy

  1. 1 :  exposure to or imminence of death, loss, or injury :  danger

  2. 2 :  the danger that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense



Examples of jeopardy

  1. <the city's firefighters routinely put their lives in jeopardy by executing daring rescues>



Origin of jeopardy

Middle English jeopardie, from Anglo-French juparti, jeuparti alternative, literally, divided game


First Known Use: 14th century



JEOPARDY Defined for Kids

jeopardy

play
noun jeop·ar·dy \ˈje-pər-dē\

Definition of jeopardy

  1. :  danger 1 <The wrong choice could put your future in jeopardy.>



History for jeopardy

In French jeu parti means literally “divided game.” This phrase was used in medieval France for situations involving alternative possibilities, such as a chess game where a player could not be sure which of two plays would be better. In this sense jeu parti was borrowed into English as jeopardie. It came to be applied to any situation involving equal chances for success or failure. Gradually, the element of risk or danger in such a choice became the word's meaning.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up jeopardy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ