\ ˈädz How to pronounce odds (audio) \

Definition of odds

1a(1) : the probability that one thing is so or will happen rather than another : chances the odds are against it
(2) : the ratio of the probability of one event to that of an alternative event
b(1) : a difference favoring one of two opposed things overwhelming odds
(2) : a difference in terms of advantage or disadvantage what's the odds, if thinking so makes them happy— Flora Thompson
c : an amount by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another won the election by considerable odds
2 : disagreement, variance usually used with atfaculty and administration often are at odds on everything— W. E. Brock born 1930
3a : the ratio between the amount to be paid off for a winning bet and the amount of the bet
b : an allowance granted by one making a bet to one accepting the bet and designed to equalize the chances favoring one of the bettors
c : special favor : partiality
4a archaic : inequalities
b obsolete : degree of unlikeness
by all odds
: in every way : without question by all odds the best book of the year

Examples of odds in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trump's suggestion that the planet is going to start to unexpectedly cool is at odds with reality, experts say. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, "Trump spurns science on climate: 'Don't think science knows'," 14 Sep. 2020 Bernal is now one of countless workers at odds with the government's messaging, and hoping for more flexible arrangements in the future. Rob Picheta, CNN, "The UK government sent millions of workers home during the pandemic. They may never return," 11 Sep. 2020 Her decision to turn in her diamond comes after a tense season 10 for the star, who found herself at odds with nearly all of her castmates. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, "Erika Girardi Seemingly Shades Denise Richards Following News of Her RHOBH Exit," 10 Sep. 2020 That description is at odds with the nature of a pandemic. Scott Galupo, TheWeek, "Trump knew it all along," 9 Sep. 2020 The blowback against the sexualization of girls isn’t at odds with the film's perspective. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "‘Cuties’ controversy: Does Netflix's new movie deserve the backlash?," 9 Sep. 2020 However, Ohio was shielded from much of the disease at the onset of the pandemic, largely because of DeWine’s quick response, often at odds with the narrative coming from Trump and the White House. cleveland, "With fewer than 60 days until the presidential election, what does the race look like in Ohio?," 6 Sep. 2020 This theory is at odds with the prevailing mainstream one that depends on random mutations and genetic recombinations in the virus for creating new strains. Curtis Roelle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Star Points: Did COVID-19 come from space?," 4 Sep. 2020 The decision put Century at odds with some rival furniture makers, which continued to insist employees wear masks everywhere. Bob Davis, WSJ, "A Furniture Maker’s Five-Month Struggle With Covid. ‘You Can’t Really Have a Plan.’," 3 Sep. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of odds

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about odds

Time Traveler for odds

Time Traveler

The first known use of odds was circa 1525

See more words from the same year

Statistics for odds

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Odds.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odds. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for odds


How to pronounce odds (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of odds

: the possibility that something will happen : the chance that one thing will happen instead of a different thing
: conditions that make it difficult for something to happen
: two numbers that show how much a person can win by betting a certain amount of money


noun plural
\ ˈädz How to pronounce odds (audio) \

Kids Definition of odds

1 : a difference in favor of one thing over another She wanted to improve her odds of winning.
2 : conditions that make something difficult He overcame great odds and succeeded.
3 : disagreement sense 1 Those two are always at odds with one another.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on odds

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!