hazard

noun
haz·​ard | \ ˈha-zərd How to pronounce hazard (audio) \

Definition of hazard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a source of danger hazards on the roadway
2a : the effect of unpredictable and unanalyzable forces in determining events : chance, risk the hazards involved in owning your own business men and women danced together, women danced together, men danced together, as hazard had brought them together— Charles Dickens
b : a chance event : accident looked like a fugitive, who had escaped from something in clothes caught up at hazard— Willa Cather
3 : a golf-course obstacle (such as a bunker or a pond)
4 : a game of chance like craps played with two dice
5 obsolete : stake sense 3a
at hazard
: at stake

hazard

verb
hazarded; hazarding; hazards

Definition of hazard (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to offer or present at a risk : venture hazard a guess as to the outcome

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Did You Know?

At first hazard was a game of chance played with dice. The English word comes from medieval French, in which the game was called hasard. This French word was probably borrowed from Arabic az-zahr, meaning “the dice” or “one of the dice.” The game was borrowed from the French by the English, and within a few centuries what had been a chance taken on the outcome of a throw of the dice could be any venture or risk. Now “chance” or “venture” and “risk” or “peril” are the usual meanings of hazard. The verb hazard emerged in the 16th century.

Examples of hazard in a Sentence

Noun

the tumbledown old barn was considered a fire hazard it was only by hazard and good fortune that we found our way back to the trail

Verb

His friend asked him to hazard a small sum in a business venture. just so the tourists could see the sea lions up close, the captain needlessly hazarded his ship
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the nearly 40 years since lead acetate was initially approved as a color additive, our understanding of the hazards of lead exposure has evolved significantly. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "The FDA Orders Hair-Dye Companies to Remove Lead From Formulas," 31 Oct. 2018 In recent days, the storm’s big waves and agitations to the surf have presented its biggest hazard at Mid-Atlantic beaches. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Chris strengthens into a hurricane while moving away from the North Carolina coast," 10 July 2018 Authorities are urging people to stay away from areas where lava meets the ocean because of its hazards. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Blue flames join the lava light show on Hawaii during Kilauea eruption," 24 May 2018 In addition, thousands of older, more dangerous buses are in the hands of churches and other private groups — their operation unregulated, their maintenance unmonitored and their hazards unknown to their passengers. The Courier-Journal, "Archives: 1988 reports on bus safety after the Carrollton crash," 14 May 2018 The dangers of losing oxygen, explained The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers environments with less than a 19.5 percent oxygen by volume to be oxygen-deficient, and a health hazard. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Why the trapped Thai soccer team is in increasing trouble: they’re running out of oxygen," 6 July 2018 Besides unpleasant bites and the uncomfortable process of removing a tick, some tick species carry Lyme disease, which can cause health hazards beyond the trademark circular rash. Jennifer Walter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ticks are appearing more frequently in backyards. Here's how to target ticks close to home.," 3 July 2018 Today, some former test sites are facing health hazards and environmental catastrophe. Lovely Umayam, The New Republic, "The Nuclear Industry’s Winners and Losers," 31 May 2018 In hockey, even the slow drizzle or misty mornings that permeate our outdoors in non-summer months can wreak serious havoc on ice surfaces and pose a safety hazard to players. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Outdoor NHL game in Seattle? As good a chance as the new team being named ‘Kraken’," 14 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Government agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and NSA, declined to hazard a guess, or, indeed, to offer any comment at all. Popular Mechanics, "How Many Spies Are Currently Living in the U.S.?," 14 May 2017 In those 30 days, Hurley and Adams spoke and texted countless times, too many for either to hazard a guess. Dom Amore, courant.com, "UConn Men: Dan Hurley's Brutal Honesty, Tough Love, Resonates With Jalen Adams," 20 June 2018 The greatest ongoing hazard stems from the lava flows and the hot, toxic gases spewing from open fissure vents close to homes and critical infrastructure, said Charles Mandeville of the U.S. Geological Survey's volcano hazards program. CBS News, "Hawaii lava flow ramps up as new magma mixes with old," 20 May 2018 Researchers have hazarded several theories for what happened in Havana. Josh Chin, WSJ, "U.S. Evacuates Workers From China After Complaints of Mystery Illness," 7 June 2018 The greatest ongoing hazard stems from the lava flows and the hot, toxic gases spewing from open fissure vents close to homes and critical infrastructure, said Charles Mandeville of the U.S. Geological Survey's volcano hazards program. CBS News, "Hawaii lava flow ramps up as new magma mixes with old," 20 May 2018 The greatest ongoing hazard stems from the lava flows and the hot, toxic gases spewing from open fissure vents close to homes and critical infrastructure, said Charles Mandeville of the U.S. Geological Survey's volcano hazards program. Fox News, "Hawaii officials warn residents about latest lava flow," 19 May 2018 Benson is accused of negligent homicide, dereliction of duty and hazarding a vessel, and recently waived his right to an Article 32 hearing, a public airing of the facts that had been scheduled for May 21 at the Washington Navy Yard. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, "Navy ‘callous’ in how it describes deadly USS Fitzgerald collision, attorneys allege," 16 May 2018 The greatest ongoing hazard stems from the lava flows and the hot, toxic gases spewing from open fissure vents close to homes and critical infrastructure, said Charles Mandeville of the U.S. Geological Survey's volcano hazards program. CBS News, "Hawaii lava flow ramps up as new magma mixes with old," 20 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hazard.' 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 hazard

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

circa 1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hazard

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French hasard, from Old Spanish azar, from Arabic al-zahr the die

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Learn More about hazard

Dictionary Entries near hazard

hazanic

hazanuth

Hazara

hazard

hazarder

hazardless

hazard lights

Statistics for hazard

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hazard

The first known use of hazard was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for hazard

hazard

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hazard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a source of danger
golf : something on a golf course (such as a pond or an area of sand) that makes hitting the ball into the hole more difficult

hazard

verb

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

: to risk losing (something, such as money) in an attempt to get, win, or achieve something
: to offer (something, such as a guess or an opinion) even though you may be wrong

hazard

noun
haz·​ard | \ ˈha-zərd How to pronounce hazard (audio) \

Kids Definition of hazard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a source of danger a fire hazard

hazard

verb
hazarded; hazarding

Kids Definition of hazard (Entry 2 of 2)

: to offer something (such as a guess or an opinion) at the risk of being wrong

hazard

noun
haz·​ard | \ ˈha-zərd How to pronounce hazard (audio) \

Legal Definition of hazard

: a condition that tends to create or increase the possibility of loss used especially in insurance law

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More from Merriam-Webster on hazard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hazard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hazard

Spanish Central: Translation of hazard

Nglish: Translation of hazard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hazard for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hazard

Comments on hazard

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