risk

noun
\ ˈrisk How to pronounce risk (audio) \

Definition of risk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : possibility of loss or injury : peril
2 : someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
3a : the chance of loss or the perils to the subject matter of an insurance contract also : the degree of probability of such loss
b : a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer
c : an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source war risk
4 : the chance that an investment (such as a stock or commodity) will lose value
at risk
: in a state or condition marked by a high level of risk or susceptibility patients at risk of infection

risk

verb
risked; risking; risks

Definition of risk (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to expose to hazard or danger risked her life
2 : to incur the risk or danger of risked breaking his neck

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Other Words from risk

Noun

riskless \ ˈrisk-​ləs How to pronounce riskless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

risker noun

Examples of risk in a Sentence

Noun

I prefer not to expose my money to too much risk. The degree of risk is minimal. All investments have an element of risk. The trip didn't seem like much of a risk. I'm aware of the risks associated with this treatment. There is a risk of liver damage with this medication. Wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the risk of injury or death in a car accident. We feel that this product presents a significant risk to public health. To me, skydiving is not worth the risk. Smoking is a risk to your lungs.

Verb

She risked her life to save her children. He risked all his money on starting his own business. He risked breaking his neck. She's risking being considered too sentimental. The country risked a war. brave people who risked being killed to help others I'm not willing to risk getting lost. I'm going to buy a map. The company is risking the loss of millions of dollars. It's not wise to risk traveling so soon after surgery.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The interior is fairly modern but doesn't take any risks, with a big infotainment screen that looks to use General Motors' latest software. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Chevrolet Trailblazer Is Back, and It Now Splits the Difference between Trax and Equinox," 29 May 2019 Beyond your genetic background, the biggest risks associated with early menopause are smoking, cancer treatments, and hysterectomy — which removes the uterus but leaves the ovaries intact, and can allow menstruation to continue. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "What Age Does Menopause Start? Here’s How to Spot the First Signs," 27 May 2019 Owners of those systems will have to depend on firmware and software updates to lower the risk, and to count on the absence of any known attacks abusing the ZombieLoad exploit, so far. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Intel: You don't need to disable Hyper-Threading to protect against the ZombieLoad CPU exploit," 15 May 2019 Rain increases the risk of a fatal car crash by 34 percent, the study found. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Study Shows Even Light Rain Increases Risk of Traffic Fatalities," 13 May 2019 Thanks to her trademark glowing skin and megawatt highlighter, the actress can pull off virtually any bold makeup risk, from a vivid tangerine lip to metallic olive eyeshadow. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Zendaya’s 20 Best Rule-Breaking Hair Moments on the Red Carpet," 9 May 2019 Self-driving cars and driver assist systems are not created equal and are not perfect, and that increases risk, something insurance companies want to avoid. Anthony Alaniz, Popular Mechanics, "When Are Self-Driving Cars Actually Coming?," 25 Apr. 2019 And nearly every urban area faces significant risk, especially the 90 percent of coastal urban areas looking at a future of increased flooding and rising sea levels. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As cities confront climate change, is density the answer?," 11 Dec. 2018 There are several reasons: Tracks are sandier to lessen the risk of injury. Allison Schrager, WSJ, "Secretariat’s Kentucky Derby Record Is Safe, Thanks to the Taxman," 3 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Truth be told, such an attack would also risk nuclear retaliation. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need to Know About the South China Sea, the World's Next Hot Spot," 27 Feb. 2019 My travails to snag it — risking it being seized by customs, overpaying sellers, weathering formula changes — surely rival those of the Arthurian knights who searched for their own Holy Grail in medieval lore. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The “best” lipstick probably won’t change your life — but the search for it can," 12 Dec. 2018 Now that Venezuelans are risking their lives for democracy, free nations owe them support. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Cuba Out of Venezuela," 24 Jan. 2019 The downside is that delaying the franchise’s start by a year risks dulling some of the momentum that has been building within the Seattle marketplace. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "NHL could announce October 2021 start date for new Seattle team as early as Tuesday," 3 Dec. 2018 And yet most of season two was spent turning Michael, the show’s chief demon and antagonist, into a friend of Eleanor and company, to the degree that he’s now risked heaven and Earth to prove that bad people can become good. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Love it or hate it, season 3 of The Good Place is taking us somewhere new (again)," 12 Oct. 2018 Research has previously indicated that drinking small amounts each day could potentially risk the reduce of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Alcohol Does Not Have Health Benefits," 24 Aug. 2018 After risking his life in one war Joe shouldn’t have had to struggle through the next decade, fighting to get his paintings seen. Mary Horlock, Longreads, "The Camouflage Artist: Two Worlds Wars, Two Loves, and One Great Deception," 21 June 2018 In also thanking the various fire departments, sheriff's investigators and emergency rescue groups that have helped in the search, Barbara McCardle said they , too, have risked their lives. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Students 'risked their lives' trying to save man at popular NC waterfall, his parents say | Charlotte Observer," 25 May 2018

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

Noun

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for risk

Noun

French risque, from Italian risco

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Statistics for risk

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for risk

The first known use of risk was in 1655

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More Definitions for risk

risk

noun

English Language Learners Definition of risk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as an injury or a loss) will happen
: someone or something that may cause something bad or unpleasant to happen
: a person or thing that someone judges to be a good or bad choice for insurance, a loan, etc.

risk

verb

English Language Learners Definition of risk (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something) in a situation in which it could be lost, damaged, etc.
: to do something that could result in (something bad or unpleasant)
: to do (something that may have harmful or bad results)

risk

noun
\ ˈrisk How to pronounce risk (audio) \

Kids Definition of risk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : possibility of loss or injury This adventure involves risks.
2 : something or someone that may cause loss or injury Smoking is a health risk.

risk

verb
risked; risking

Kids Definition of risk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to expose to danger He risked his life to save the children.
2 : to take the risk or danger of I'm not willing to risk hurting myself.

risk

noun
\ ˈrisk How to pronounce risk (audio) \

Medical Definition of risk

1 : possibility of loss, injury, disease, or death hypertension increases the risk of stroke
2 : a person considered in terms of the possible bad effects of a particular course of treatment a poor surgical risk
at risk
: in a state or condition marked by a high level of risk or susceptibility patients at risk of developing infections

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risk

noun

Legal Definition of risk

1a : possibility of loss or injury
b : liability for loss or injury if it occurs the risk of loss passes to the buyer when the goods are duly delivered to the carrierUniform Commercial Code the risk of personal injury and property damage should be placed with the manufacturer rather than the consumerCase & Comment
2a : the chance of loss to the subject matter of an insurance contract : uncertainty with regard to loss also : the degree of probability of such loss — compare peril
b : a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer a poor risk for insurance
c : an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source a war risk

Other Words from risk

riskless adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on risk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with risk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for risk

Spanish Central: Translation of risk

Nglish: Translation of risk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of risk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about risk

Comments on risk

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