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 During the first wave of the coronavirus, many gig workers spoke up about unfair conditions and benefits inequality, including their lack of personal protective equipment, hazard pay, and sick leave. John H. Chuang, Quartz at Work, "To fix racial bias in the gig economy, start with the rating systems," 24 Sep. 2020 Among the more common were adjustments for hazard pay or Covid-19 bonuses, PPE charges, and incremental sanitation and cleaning costs, said Dennis McGowan, senior director of professional practice at the CAQ. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Companies Adjust Earnings for Covid-19 Costs, but Are They Still a One-Time Expense?," 24 Sep. 2020 An additional $53 million in hazard pay for K-12 teachers related to the coronavirus pandemic, with payments capped at $500 per teacher. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan limits spending cuts to $250M under revamped budget plan for 2021," 23 Sep. 2020 Cordova, the union official, said the collective bargaining group has lobbied for hazard pay for operators since the pandemic began and will continue to do so. oregonlive, "First TriMet drivers dealt with the pandemic, then wildfire smoke and evacuations," 16 Sep. 2020 But in the case of the church, the stone work and mortar was deteriorating to the point of becoming a safety hazard despite a patchwork of repairs over the decades. Barry Adams, Star Tribune, "A temporary view in Roxbury as its church gets an upgrade," 17 Aug. 2020 Having fasteners rust away is clearly a safety hazard on a structure such as a deck. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, "Is wood still a viable option for retaining walls, or will it deteriorate quickly?," 17 Aug. 2020 The order will not apply to children under the age of 2, churches, schools, medical procedures, hair care services or people for whom the mask might present a safety hazard. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Jefferson County to require masks in public," 26 June 2020 This is a fire safety hazard causing a serious safety concern for those in the Justice Center. Fox News, "Portland demonstrators use rope from flag to lock cops in precinct," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Brown himself won’t hazard to guess what could materialize in the aftermath. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Tired of Michigan football, Michigan State facing patsies? Pandemic may end that trend," 13 Sep. 2020 Some companies, such as Starbucks and Dell, have pulled their guidance on annual earnings, declining even to hazard a guess about the future. The Economist, "Picking off the weak How deep will downturns in rich countries be?," 16 Apr. 2020 Megan Colligan, president of Imax Entertainment, would not publicly hazard a guess. Nicole Sperling, BostonGlobe.com, "Neither lights, camera, nor action," 19 Apr. 2020 Megan Colligan, the president of Imax Entertainment, would not publicly hazard a guess. Nicole Sperling, New York Times, "Hollywood’s Backstage Creatives Try to Soldier On," 19 Apr. 2020 This term dating to the 1990s is by this point universally known in contemporary America, where even the stodgiest of grandparents will hazard the occasional (often embarrassing, granted) LOL in Facebook comments or personal texts. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Crosswords Came of Age in the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 The Tesla Model 3 is not merely a car but a hyper-connected piece of technology that knows what ails you, what hazards your surroundings may pose and tries to predict your every next move. Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: I drove a Tesla Model 3 and here's what I learned: Trust but verify," 3 July 2019 Eissey wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how much government entities or HOAs pay on a per-street light basis, saying that pricing just isn’t broken down to that granular level. Dan Sweeney, sun-sentinel.com, "Who pays the electric bill for street lights and traffic signals? | You asked, we answer," 21 Nov. 2019 And yet from that email—from that everything—one can hazard a guess about Fred’s answers to the questions shouted at Pam Bondi in Tampa. Tom Junod, The Atlantic, "What Would Mister Rogers Do?," 7 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for hazard

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hazard

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hazard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hazard. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for hazard

hazard

noun
How to pronounce hazard (audio)

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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Comments on hazard

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