\ ˈädz How to pronounce odds (audio) \

Definition of odds

1a(1) : the probability that one thing is so or will happen rather than another : chances the odds are against it
(2) : the ratio of the probability of one event to that of an alternative event
b(1) : a difference favoring one of two opposed things overwhelming odds
(2) : a difference in terms of advantage or disadvantage what's the odds, if thinking so makes them happy— Flora Thompson
c : an amount by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another won the election by considerable odds
2 : disagreement, variance usually used with at faculty and administration often are at odds on everything— W. E. Brock born 1930
3a : the ratio between the amount to be paid off for a winning bet and the amount of the bet
b : an allowance granted by one making a bet to one accepting the bet and designed to equalize the chances favoring one of the bettors
c : special favor : partiality
4a archaic : inequalities
b obsolete : degree of unlikeness
by all odds
: in every way : without question by all odds the best book of the year

Examples of odds in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mother’s Day will have slightly lower odds of rain at about 20%. Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel, 6 May 2022 Goddess of Fire, who drew the fifth gate with jockey John Velazquez, has morning line odds of 15-1. Steve Bittenbender, The Courier-Journal, 5 May 2022 Epicenter has morning-line odds of 7-2, and Mo Donegal is at 10-1, tied with White Abarrio for fourth-best in the morning line. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 2 May 2022 As the East and West Final Fours were beginning Sunday, Miami was the second favorite (narrowly behind Boston) in the East and had the fourth-best odds for the NBA title behind Phoenix, Golden State and the Celtics. Tim Reynolds, ajc, 1 May 2022 In a conservative and male-dominated genre, Lambert defied odds, and the Nashville establishment, by achieving stardom on her own terms. Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 As of Monday, MoneyPuck has the Stars’ odds of reaching the postseason at 87%, while the Golden Knights are at 15.3%. Carol Schram, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 To qualify, the same game parlay must be have final odds of +1000 or longer. Xl Media, cleveland, 14 Apr. 2022 The Spurs have the ninth-best odds in next month’s draft lottery, giving them a 20.3 percent chance at a top-four pick. San Antonio Express-News, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'odds.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of odds

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Learn More About odds

Dictionary Entries Near odds

odd/queer fish


odds and ends

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for odds

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Odds.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odds. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for odds


noun plural
\ ˈädz How to pronounce odds (audio) \

Kids Definition of odds

1 : a difference in favor of one thing over another She wanted to improve her odds of winning.
2 : conditions that make something difficult He overcame great odds and succeeded.
3 : disagreement sense 1 Those two are always at odds with one another.


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!