hazard

noun
haz·​ard | \ ˈha-zərd \

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

Pilots, regulators and independent safety experts are questioning why prior to the crash the company didn’t fully inform pilots about potential hazards from certain automated features. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Boeing Leadership Faces PR Hurdles After Lion Air Crash," 5 Dec. 2018 Seemingly innocent baby walkers are being called out as a serious safety hazard for American children. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Baby Walkers Cause Thousands of ER Visits Every Year, Experts Warn," 26 Sep. 2018 The Verge spoke with Jones about natural hazards, risk assessment, and the disaster that haunts her. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "The hardest part of preparing for disasters is overcoming human nature," 26 May 2018 In some ways, the minimal damage and recovery offer a beacon of hope to communities facing down other natural hazards, whether that’s hurricanes, fires, floods, rising sea levels, or more earthquakes. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days," 8 Dec. 2018 Of course superhero territory comes with its occupational hazards: weightlifting, martial arts training, grueling days on set. Vanessa Chow, Glamour, "Amber Heard Is Nobody’s Victim," 27 Nov. 2018 Property owners must keep their sidewalk flags (the individual slabs of concrete) in good condition to avoid trip hazards, as cracked or broken flags pose a safety risk. New York Times, "How Much Water Does It Really Take to Wash a Sidewalk?," 7 July 2018 Once or twice a week, the monument, and often Highway 70 leading to it, is closed for military testing for three hours to keep visitors away from any potential hazards, like stray missiles. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "Our Next National Park Could Be in New Mexico," 3 July 2018 The entryway, for example, may need a resurfaced path to reduce trip hazards, improved lighting, railings on the stairs, or a ramp and wider doorway for a wheelchair. Jane E. Brody, charlotteobserver, "How to age well and stay in your home," 27 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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near hazard

hazanic

hazanuth

Hazara

hazard

hazarder

hazardless

hazard lights

Statistics for hazard

Last Updated

14 Jan 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 \

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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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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