jeop·ar·dize | \ ˈje-pər-ˌdīz \
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

Ranelletti said in the letter that Espinosa jeopardized public trust with a series of inconsistent statements and questionable behavior. Kimberly Veklerov,, "Oakland finds likely collusion between inspector, property owner in eviction," 1 July 2018 Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail to make the move, and it's widely seen as a decision that will jeopardize the stability of the region and further inflame tensions between Palestinians and the Israeli military. Luke Darby, GQ, "The Pastor Trump Chose to Open the New Jerusalem Embassy Is an Anti-Muslim Troll," 14 May 2018 Now, the allegations won’t jeopardize his hosting gig at Idol either. Dee Lockett, The Cut, "ABC, Like E!, Is Sticking With Ryan Seacrest Amid Sexual-Misconduct Allegations," 9 Mar. 2018 The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation has withdrawn its $20 million pledge, a move that could set back, if not jeopardize, the project. Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "UMKC downtown conservatory loses huge donation," 26 Jan. 2018 There are more than 130 trained navigators across the state who help Floridians sign up for Obamacare health insurance, but organizers worry potential cuts in federal funding this year might jeopardize some of those jobs. Naseem S. Miller,, "Obamacare navigators unsure of funding," 27 June 2018 Higher turnout traditionally has helped Democrats, which could fuel a blue wave that might jeopardize the GOP’s majority in the state House of Representatives, Senate, governor’s office and in Congress. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Voters will decide marijuana legalization after Legislature fails to act," 5 June 2018 But the recovery plan’s goals are lacking wolf numbers and wolf habitat, which jeopardizes the future of the species’ genetic health, according to wolf advocates. Alex Devoid, azcentral, "Can Mexican gray wolves survive in Mexico? Ranchers, advocates square off in familiar debate," 13 May 2018 Noticeably upgrading the roster without jeopardizing future flexibility is difficult. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "In rare twist, Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once," 9 July 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

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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