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 risk (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 But any heightened risk of infection is unwelcome news, particularly in areas already reeling from sky-high levels of coronavirus transmission. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. County hospitals are losing the battle against COVID-19 surge as problems multiply," 6 Jan. 2021 Other risk factors include untreated high blood pressure, smoking cigarettes, and using blood-pressure-spiking drugs like cocaine or amphetamines. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Dr. Dre Hospitalized But ‘Doing Great’ After a Brain Aneurysm," 6 Jan. 2021 Big oil companies face reputational risk amid growing concern over climate change. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "What will happen at the first-ever ANWR oil lease sale? Here’s what we know.," 5 Jan. 2021 Coalition members joined widespread calls for jailed journalists to be released due to heightened risk of contracting Covid-19 in detention conditions. Wired Staff, Wired, "One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 5 Jan. 2021 Its top 10 merchants including Peloton produced about 37% of Affirm’s revenue during the period, creating the risk its business could be adversely affected by the loss of any of those partners, according to the filing. Katie Roof, Fortune, "Online lender Affirm to be valued as high as $9.2 billion in planned IPO," 5 Jan. 2021 Antitrust is listed on the proxy statement along with several other specific risk areas that the audit committee oversees, which also includes privacy and data security. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Apple proxy statement includes section about antitrust risk for the first time," 5 Jan. 2021 Armed with numbers like that, however, humans are not always terribly good at calculating risk. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Too Many Americans Still Mistrust the COVID-19 Vaccines. Here's Why," 5 Jan. 2021 However, the greatest risk to re-wearing a mask after a quick use (for both disposable face masks and cloth masks), is the chance of contaminating it in the act of taking it off or putting it back on. Lauren Levy, NBC News, "How to buy the best disposable face mask, according to experts," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The state releases risk data on a weekly basis, and each map represents data from a two-week period. Amanda Kaufman, BostonGlobe.com, "See how Massachusetts’ COVID-19 risk map has evolved week-by-week," 31 Dec. 2020 The fact that people are willing to risk their well-being for the sake of a cause greater than their own interests remains surprising and powerful. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 7 Dec. 2020 The vote could, however, provide legitimacy for Maduro to offer investment deals to the few companies around the world willing to risk running foul of Washington's sanctions for access to the world's largest oil reserves. Reuters, CNN, "Pro-Maduro candidates win control of Venezuelan congress after disputed election," 7 Dec. 2020 The New York Knicks, in the eighth spot, were interested in moving up, but shortly before the draft started around 8 p.m., the Cavs no longer believed Okoro would be on the board at No. 8, and weren’t willing to risk losing him. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers select Isaac Okoro with No. 5 pick in 2020 NBA Draft," 18 Nov. 2020 The outcome is seen as certain by every major news organization along with some leading Republicans willing to risk the president’s anger by speaking publicly and many Republicans in private. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Newsmax chief says he’d welcome Trump to his cable channel but ‘we don’t want to be Trump TV’," 13 Nov. 2020 And, early in the pandemic, Stone was one of the few pathologists willing to risk performing autopsies on Covid-19 patients amid concerns that doing so would transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease. Emma Yasinski Undark, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Autopsies Are Proving Vital During Covid-19," 28 Oct. 2020 So one party is willing to gamble on Catholic appointees in hopes of bringing Roe down, and the other is willing to risk looking anti-Catholic to safeguard the status quo. Matthew J. Franck, WSJ, "Is the Supreme Court Too Catholic?," 8 Oct. 2020 Venezuela, owner of the world’s largest oil reserves, has been struggling to find ships willing to risk sanctions after the Trump administration announced sanctions on six vessels and its shipowners for transporting its crude. Lucia Kassai, Bloomberg.com, "Venezuela and Iran Buck U.S. Sanctions Again to Export Crude," 22 Sep. 2020

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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Risk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/risk. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for risk

risk

noun
How to pronounce risk (audio)

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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Comments on risk

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