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

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Synonyms for hazard

Synonyms: Noun

accident, casualty [archaic], chance, circumstance, hap, luck

Synonyms: Verb

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

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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

Some ink manufacturers post Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) online that include product ingredients, potential hazards, and toxicological and regulatory information. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "9 Smart Questions to Ask Before Getting a Tattoo," 9 Nov. 2018 Risks to military installations are increasing due to climate change The coastal bases that house sensitive equipment like F-22s also face hazards, particularly from extreme weather. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Hurricane Michael showed how woefully unprepared the military is for extreme weather," 15 Oct. 2018 But in the immediate future, one of the biggest hurdles will be breaking the habits of building in high-hazard areas and not building to code. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How architects and designers are rebuilding Puerto Rico," 20 Sep. 2018 On July 26, the home-renovation mogul from Waco, Tex., posted a video to Instagram of himself in a hazmat suit, which teased a clip on the Magnolia blog about the potential hazards of lead-paint removal. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Chip Gaines releases lead paint safety video following EPA violations, $40G fine," 27 July 2018 The officers additionally gave her a pamphlet about the hazards of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and a Smart Start pamphlet with tips for safe teen driving. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Officers host Coffee with a Cop," 19 June 2018 For some, the pinnacle might mean launching an informational campaign about the environmental hazards of plastic straws. Sarah Baird, Vogue, "Fighting Climate Change With Food Scraps: Why Composting Is Easier Than Ever," 26 Mar. 2018 Over Lemmon’s car loomed a hazard familiar in Baltimore: A decrepit two-story building. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Collapse: The rise and deadly fall of a Baltimore rowhouse," 12 July 2018 Dressing up as a Minion to promote a shop on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk didn't come with hazard pay. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Florida man body slams partially blind man in a Minion costume in a ‘prank’ gone wrong," 11 July 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.

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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

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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

14 Nov 2018

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 \

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

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Comments on hazard

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something that serves to warn or remind

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