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, chance, circumstance, 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

Back then, a city attorney told The Republic that the enormous statue was a public safety hazard with the potential to collapse on customers. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Hitching Post Saloon owner sues Apache Junction, alleging racial discrimination," 29 June 2018 And remember to be extra careful about loose brush bristles left behind on the grill — a huge safety hazard. Brianna Steinhilber /, NBC News, "A better way to clean your BBQ grill," 29 June 2018 Ironically, given the origins of TanaCon to begin with, security had to eventually ask people to leave panels and on-site events due to safety hazards. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "YouTuber’s anti-VidCon convention TanaCon was such a disaster that fans are comparing it to Fyre Fest," 26 June 2018 Recently, a piece of equipment at Ford Elementary School broke and became a safety hazard, so the Conroe ISD paid $5,000 to fix it, Phillips said. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Parents raise $200,000 for new playground equipment at Buckalew Elementary," 6 June 2018 The 2018 festival -- which was also the fifth anniversary of Mutiny’s creation -- took precautions in order to avoid safety hazards, including the enforcement of an age restriction. Lilly Milman, Billboard, "Mutiny Festival Cut Short Following Drug-Related Deaths," 30 May 2018 On the flip side, life in prison poses unique safety hazards for the aging prisoners themselves, according to Williams, who serves as director of the criminal justice and health program at the University of California-San Francisco. jsonline.com, "Release programs for sick and elderly prisoners could save millions. But states rarely use them.," 18 Apr. 2018 Systems in the middle—with human driver and software both sharing some responsibility—are a safety hazard. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "People who paid Tesla $3,000 for full self-driving might be out of luck," 17 Apr. 2018 Trees and branches that interfere with power lines can create safety hazards and cause power outages, officials from the village said in a press release. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Easter Egg Hunt planned at Mooseheart," 10 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries near hazard

hazanic

hazanuth

Hazara

hazard

hazarder

hazardless

hazard lights

Statistics for hazard

Last Updated

5 Sep 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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