hazard

noun
haz·ard | \ˈha-zərd \

Definition of hazard 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a game of chance like craps played with two dice

2 : a source of danger hazards on the roadway

3a : 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

4 obsolete : stake sense 3a

5 : a golf-course obstacle (such as a bunker or a pond)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for hazard

Synonyms: Noun

accident, chance, circumstance, luck

Synonyms: Verb

adventure, chance, gamble (on), risk, tempt, venture

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The app provides information about weather hazards like turbulence, lightning or hail that’s more accurate and easier to interpret than pilots used to be able to get after takeoff, said Tom Staigle, Delta’s chief technical pilot. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "From birthday wishes for passengers to tracking baggage handler injuries, airlines tap big data to try to improve operations," 12 July 2018 Despite the danger, health department orders to clean up, or abate, homes with lead hazards cratered in recent years — from 77 in 2015 to 34 in 2017. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mayor Tom Barrett has nominated a new Health Department commissioner. Here are the problems facing the agency," 12 July 2018 The resulting diversity will increase oryx herds’ resistance to disease and other potential hazards in the future. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 In 2009, the city of Hartford gave David DaCosta a $55,000 loan in funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of a program to remove lead hazards. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "After Porch Collapse In Hartford, Neighbors Ask 'What Else Is Going To Fall?'," 8 July 2018 Biologist John Cassani has been collecting samples, and warning about the health hazards. Manuel Bojorquez, CBS News, "Toxic algae a slimy mess for Florida's Lake Okeechobee," 6 July 2018 Fire crews determined there were no additional hazards to bystanders. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aerosol can near grill causes fire inside food truck at Oswego Farmers Market, officials say," 2 July 2018 There will also be clearer warning labels about tipping hazards on high chairs. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "New High Chair Safety Standards Are Coming — Here's Everything You Need to Know," 21 June 2018 Aviation experts are particularly concerned about engine hazards for twin-engine jets flying long overwater routes that routinely take them three hours or more from emergency landing strips. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "FAA Expands Engine Checks After Southwest Accident," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of hazard

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hazard

Noun

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

Verb

see hazard entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hazard

Dictionary Entries near hazard

hazanic

hazanuth

Hazara

hazard

hazarder

hazardless

hazard lights

Statistics for hazard

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hazard

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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 \

Legal Definition of hazard 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hazard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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