jeop·​ar·​dize | \ ˈje-pər-ˌdīz How to pronounce jeopardize (audio) \
jeopardized; jeopardizing

Definition of jeopardize

transitive verb

: to expose to danger or risk : imperil a decision that could jeopardize her career laws jeopardizing freedom of speech

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Jeopardize Has a Controversial History

It may be hard to believe that jeopardize was once controversial, but in 1870 a grammarian called it "a foolish and intolerable word," a view shared by many 19th-century critics. The preferred word was jeopard, which first appeared in print in the 14th century. (The upstart jeopardize turned up in 1582.) In 1828, Noah Webster himself declared jeopardize to be "a modern word, used by respectable writers in America, but synonymous with 'jeopard,' and therefore useless." Unfortunately for the champions of jeopard, jeopardize is now much more popular.

Examples of jeopardize in a Sentence

His health has been jeopardized by poor nutrition. don't do anything that will jeopardize your place on the advisory board

Recent Examples on the Web

Tesla’s falling solar sales also could jeopardize the future of a joint venture with Panasonic, announced as Tesla moved to acquire SolarCity in 2016, to produce solar modules at a new factory in Buffalo, New York. NBC News, "Tesla set to close a dozen solar facilities in nine states," 22 June 2018 Pressure from investors, combined with a prince in a hurry to transform his country, could jeopardize the long-term approach that has made Aramco a dominant force. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "An Oil Giant Is Taking Big Steps. Saudi Arabia Can’t Afford for It to Slip.," 16 June 2018 Finally, Ethiopia's new leadership is making remarkable progress on several fronts, but faces serious risks from within which could jeopardize the progress made over the last two months. Awol K. Allo, CNN, "Ethiopia's new Prime Minister has had a stellar two months, can he keep it up?," 7 June 2018 Such disparities could jeopardize public support for the project, said Martin Wachs, a member of a peer review panel that oversees the project and a UCLA transportation expert. Ralph Vartabedian,, "As bullet train costs rise, only 31% of California voters want to keep paying for it," 25 May 2018 Reading beyond paragraph two could jeopardize our friendship. Doug Maccash,, "New Orleans Jazz Fest 2018: Why Beck is like a fried baloney sandwich," 5 May 2018 The tie gives the Xolos a point in the standings but could jeopardize its chances at remaining in postseason contention with three matches remaining in the regular season. Ivan Orozco,, "Frustrated Xolos come away with another LIGA MX tie," 6 Apr. 2018 The notice could jeopardize the city’s four pending Green Acres projects totaling more than $2.6 million to develop parks elsewhere in Camden. Melanie Burney,, "Camden residents locked out of field of dreams for sports games. Officials promise better public access," 5 Apr. 2018 Toymakers Aren't Having Much Fun x Share Embed Permalink That could jeopardize secondary brands and product innovation. Carol Matlack,, "The Long, Slow Demise of My Little Pony and Yoda," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jeopardize.' 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 jeopardize

1582, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jeopardize

see jeopardy

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Statistics for jeopardize

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for jeopardize

The first known use of jeopardize was in 1582

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More Definitions for jeopardize



English Language Learners Definition of jeopardize

: to put (something or someone) in danger


jeop·​ar·​dize | \ ˈje-pər-ˌdīz How to pronounce jeopardize (audio) \
jeopardized; jeopardizing

Kids Definition of jeopardize

: to put in danger A poor diet can jeopardize your health.

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Comments on jeopardize

What made you want to look up jeopardize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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