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 These are places where the health infrastructure is less established and populations may be less informed about health hazards. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "A Shadowy Industry Group Shapes Food Policy Around the World," 16 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Infection hazard When air is sucked into the tube, however, harmful bacteria from the throat can be carried along too. The Economist, "Neanderthals had a propensity for earache, nudging them to their doom," 12 Sep. 2019 More deaths occur every year due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Severe storm brings flash flooding to south metro Denver, hail in the foothills, mudslide along I-70," 7 Sep. 2019 To safely reach the Moon, the lander has several instruments to help guide it down to the surface, including cameras to help its on-board flight computer determine its position and horizontal velocity and to help avoid hazards. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "India lost communication with its lander just above the surface [Updated]," 6 Sep. 2019 San Diego Police said the steel fishing boat was deemed a traffic hazard. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Boat falls off trailer, owner abandons ship," 6 Sep. 2019 The weather service has beach hazard warnings in effect for counties along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Lake Michigan shore to get slammed with wind, waves up to 10 feet," 3 Sep. 2019 Infrastructures are aging, environmental hazards are evolving and cities lack the funds to make fixes. Maura C. Allaire, The Conversation, "How to address America’s lead crisis and provide safe drinking water for all," 3 Sep. 2019 These eyes in the sky will help us not only better understand meteorological hazards but also long-term patterns in weather, tightening researchers’ grasp on the links between storm evolution and our changing climate. Michael Peterson, National Geographic, "Record-breaking lightning as long as Kansas spotted," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To hazard an imperfect analogy, the National Football League creates a draft, worst teams pick first, to foster competitiveness. Roger Lowenstein, Washington Post, "A reexamination of ownership in the age of the public corporation," 30 Aug. 2019 In other cases, where migrants hazard the open sea, naval and coast guard vessels intercept and deport them. Paul A. Kramer, The New Republic, "The Harsh World of Offshore Borders," 8 Aug. 2019 Nearly 60,000 people hazarded the Mediterranean crossing last year, following northward routes mapped by rumor and smugglers. Cynthia Gorney, National Geographic, "African migrants in Europe trade one hardship for another," 25 June 2019 During the trial, Winslow Sr. shepherded relatives back-and-forth on bathroom breaks, staring down media members who might hazard a question. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "You Never Knew Kellen Winslow Jr.," 13 June 2019 Government agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and NSA, declined to hazard a guess, or, indeed, to offer any comment at all. Popular Mechanics, "How Many Spies Are Currently Living in the U.S.?," 14 May 2017 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

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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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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