jeopardize

verb
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 Mali's neighbors and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardize a commitment to hold a presidential election in February, and undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, some of which are based in Mali's desert north. Reuters, CNN, 2 June 2021 Nationwide free community college could boost enrollment, but larger class sizes could jeopardize quality. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 May 2021 Left Behind, a nonprofit committed to ensuring that the U.S. keeps its promise to care for those in other countries who jeopardize their safety on behalf of the United States. Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2021 My job as a prosecutor led me to dismiss the premise of the question, arguing that an officer would jeopardize his or her job by not telling the truth, while the defendant generally had significant reason to be untruthful. Mark C. Curran Jr., National Review, 2 Sep. 2020 The rules compel staff members not to express opinions on controversial issues for fear of damaging the AP's reputation for objectivity and jeopardize its many reporters around the world. David Bauder, ajc, 24 May 2021 The rules compel staff members not to express opinions on controversial issues for fear of damaging the AP's reputation for objectivity and jeopardize its many reporters around the world. David Bauder, Star Tribune, 24 May 2021 Pharmaceutical and biotech companies, also feeling pressure, sought on Monday to head off such a move, which could cut into future profits and jeopardize their business model. New York Times, 3 May 2021 Behind the official statements of Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken is the assumption that our exit (and that of our NATO allies) won’t jeopardize the existence of the regime based in Kabul. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 17 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for jeopardize

Time Traveler

The first known use of jeopardize was in 1582

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Dictionary Entries Near jeopardize

jeon

jeopard

jeopardise

jeopardize

jeopardous

jeopardy

jequirity

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Statistics for jeopardize

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jeopardize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jeopardize. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for jeopardize

jeopardize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jeopardize

: to put (something or someone) in danger

jeopardize

verb
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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