risk

noun
\ ˈrisk How to pronounce risk (audio) \

Definition of risk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : possibility of loss or injury : peril
2 : someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
3a : the chance of loss or the perils to the subject matter of an insurance contract also : the degree of probability of such loss
b : a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer
c : an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source war risk
4 : the chance that an investment (such as a stock or commodity) will lose value
at risk
: in a state or condition marked by a high level of risk or susceptibility patients at risk of infection

risk

verb
risked; risking; risks

Definition of risk (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to expose to hazard or danger risked her life
2 : to incur the risk or danger of risked breaking his neck

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Other Words from risk

Noun

riskless \ ˈrisk-​ləs How to pronounce riskless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

risker noun

Examples of risk in a Sentence

Noun

I prefer not to expose my money to too much risk. The degree of risk is minimal. All investments have an element of risk. The trip didn't seem like much of a risk. I'm aware of the risks associated with this treatment. There is a risk of liver damage with this medication. Wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the risk of injury or death in a car accident. We feel that this product presents a significant risk to public health. To me, skydiving is not worth the risk. Smoking is a risk to your lungs.

Verb

She risked her life to save her children. He risked all his money on starting his own business. He risked breaking his neck. She's risking being considered too sentimental. The country risked a war. brave people who risked being killed to help others I'm not willing to risk getting lost. I'm going to buy a map. The company is risking the loss of millions of dollars. It's not wise to risk traveling so soon after surgery.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The typical yield for the safest tranche, which is practically risk-free, ranges from 3 percent to 5 percent, a handsome return. Washington Post, "Have a Credit Card? You’re Among China’s Fortunate," 18 Sep. 2019 They have been used to predict the emergence of schizophrenia or future illicit drug use by at-risk adolescents. Wired, "Why We Need Guidelines for Brain Scan Data," 17 Sep. 2019 President Trump has expressed support for extreme risk protection orders. Emily Tillett, CBS News, "Author of early "red flag" law says it has "stood the test of time"," 17 Sep. 2019 The Ohio Wine Producers Association has partnered with the Exchange Club of Fremont to collect items for the Goodnight Bag Project, which supports at-risk children who are being removed from homes and placed in safe houses. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Wine calendar: Autumn Wine Affair, Taste in Little Italy, Shaker Wines’ Amarone, more," 17 Sep. 2019 In this year’s wildfire season, PG&E expanded its plan for shutoffs to include all electric lines that pass through high fire-risk zones. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "FCC pressures cell service providers to prepare for California wildfire power shutoffs," 16 Sep. 2019 Nevertheless, she will be subjected to the same set of limiting and humiliating restrictions as those who are in much higher-risk groups. Kenneth E. Hartman, Harper's magazine, "Life after Life," 16 Sep. 2019 While the Fed is closely monitoring short-term risks, its long-term challenges may be even more daunting. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Trump Urges ‘Big’ Rate Cut as Fed Faces Challenges," 16 Sep. 2019 Dive into this incredible underwater ecosystem alongside marine biologists and conservationists to lend a hand in preserving at-risk habitats, and witness groundbreaking conservation initiatives in action. National Geographic, "Baja and the Sea of Cortez Expedition: Marine Conservation," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Such actions are considered by the Pentagon to fall below the use of force and are seen as effective without risking open conflict. Washington Post, "Pentagon urges restraint as administration blames Iran for Saudi strikes," 18 Sep. 2019 But is there a way to switch up the teams, without risking the charge of exhibition? Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Wrapping Up a Cracking 2019 U.S. Open," 11 Sep. 2019 And then there’s the constant societal pressures: from the black community to protect and provide for family; from everyone else to dress a certain way, to talk a certain way, to do everything possible to not risk seeming aggressive. San Francisco Chronicle, "Rashad Armstead fills a bag of French fries at his restaurant, Grammie's Down-Home Chicken, in Oakland.," 30 Aug. 2019 Jessi Combs‘ tragic death on Tuesday was not the first time the professional racer had risked her life for her career. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Late Mythbusters Star Jessi Combs Almost Lost Her Life in Freak Accident 12 Years Ago," 29 Aug. 2019 Portuguese subjects who violated African laws quickly risked stiff fines or found their lives in danger. Howard W. French, The New York Review of Books, "Africa’s Lost Kingdoms," 17 June 2019 That’s because Gavin Hood’s film, about whistleblower Katharine Gun, who risked everything in an ultimately quixotic attempt to stop, or at least delay, the invasion of Iraq, never takes its focus off what’s really important here: the truth. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, "‘Official Secrets’ revisits an Iraq war drama that rocked Britain," 12 Sep. 2019 Wireless local area networking (WLAN) products did exist, primarily for businesses, but a multitude of companies offered proprietary solutions that risked rapidly becoming obsolete. Wired, "How Wi-Fi Almost Didn’t Happen," 12 Sep. 2019 Employers who do so risk committing unfair labor practices and violations of antitrust law. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Legal Ramifications of Antonio Brown's Growing Dispute With Raiders," 5 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'risk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of risk

Noun

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for risk

Noun

French risque, from Italian risco

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Statistics for risk

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for risk

The first known use of risk was in 1655

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More Definitions for risk

risk

noun

English Language Learners Definition of risk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as an injury or a loss) will happen
: someone or something that may cause something bad or unpleasant to happen
: a person or thing that someone judges to be a good or bad choice for insurance, a loan, etc.

risk

verb

English Language Learners Definition of risk (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something) in a situation in which it could be lost, damaged, etc.
: to do something that could result in (something bad or unpleasant)
: to do (something that may have harmful or bad results)

risk

noun
\ ˈrisk How to pronounce risk (audio) \

Kids Definition of risk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : possibility of loss or injury This adventure involves risks.
2 : something or someone that may cause loss or injury Smoking is a health risk.

risk

verb
risked; risking

Kids Definition of risk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to expose to danger He risked his life to save the children.
2 : to take the risk or danger of I'm not willing to risk hurting myself.

risk

noun
\ ˈrisk How to pronounce risk (audio) \

Medical Definition of risk

1 : possibility of loss, injury, disease, or death hypertension increases the risk of stroke
2 : a person considered in terms of the possible bad effects of a particular course of treatment a poor surgical risk
at risk
: in a state or condition marked by a high level of risk or susceptibility patients at risk of developing infections

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risk

noun

Legal Definition of risk

1a : possibility of loss or injury
b : liability for loss or injury if it occurs the risk of loss passes to the buyer when the goods are duly delivered to the carrierUniform Commercial Code the risk of personal injury and property damage should be placed with the manufacturer rather than the consumerCase & Comment
2a : the chance of loss to the subject matter of an insurance contract : uncertainty with regard to loss also : the degree of probability of such loss — compare peril
b : a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer a poor risk for insurance
c : an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source a war risk

Other Words from risk

riskless adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on risk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with risk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for risk

Spanish Central: Translation of risk

Nglish: Translation of risk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of risk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about risk

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