risk

noun
\ˈrisk \

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 \ 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

Monarch populations across the eastern United States have declined more than 80% in the past 20 years and researchers worry they’re at risk for being lost entirely. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're beautiful — and in danger. Now, a huge effort focuses on saving monarch butterflies," 13 July 2018 According to officials, the more than 700 at risk for foreclosure still have a chance to try and save their homes, thanks to the city and nonprofit United Community Housing Coalition. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit home tax foreclosures: Why they've dropped dramatically," 13 July 2018 Those circumstances include if agents can't verify the relationship between the adult and minor, or if the parent is deemed to be a risk for the minor or has a criminal history. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Rights group claims family separations continue at border, despite Trump's executive order," 13 July 2018 Each year is a financial risk for those whose livelihoods are coming from the farms. The Aegis, "Roller coaster ride [Editorial]," 13 July 2018 Two of the three have to do with water, which presents one of the greatest risks for eye infection to contact wearers, says Haberman. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "Are My Contacts Going to Make Me Go Blind?," 11 July 2018 Mothers who don’t breastfeed are at greater risk for disease, Philipp said, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "Why the US should have supported global breastfeeding initiative," 10 July 2018 Physicians have noticed that skin tags appear to be more common in people who are overweight and at risk for metabolic syndrome (Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, January 2016). Houston Chronicle, "Vicks VapoRub for poison ivy itch," 8 July 2018 That’s a lot of risk for a player who showed us last year his floor is at least RB33. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2018 Busts: Will Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt Meet Expectations?," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The strike came as the United Nations warned the international community of the dangers of what could turn into yet another major bloodbath in Syria, this time along the borders of Jordan and Israel, risking a wider conflict. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Airstrike in southern Syria kills families hiding in shelter from offensive," 28 June 2018 In other instances, administrative contractors have set arbitrary levels on the types and numbers of tests that can be performed each day in certain regions — risking the accuracy of a patient’s diagnosis. Scott Whitaker, STAT, "It’s time to reform the process for determining what Medicare covers," 27 June 2018 On June 11th alone, Poundworld entered administration, risking 335 stores; Fabb Sofas closed, losing nine; and Henri Lloyd, a fashion retailer, came out of administration, but will still sell five shops. The Economist, "As shoppers go online, high streets reinvent themselves," 14 June 2018 And Disney's hopes to secure the complete rights to Star Wars would also be thwarted by a Comcast deal, risking its efforts to complete its Star Wars collection. Ashley Wong, USA TODAY, "After AT&T-Warner green light, Comcast is expected to rival Disney for Fox," 13 June 2018 The rest of us better hope that Trump and Kim don’t instead repeat Eisenhower’s acrimonious summit with Khrushchev, once again risking conflict between two nuclear powers. Andrew Preston, The New Republic, "Will Trump Be Nixon in China?," 11 June 2018 Instead, months of marches, pickets and advocacy — including thousands of phone calls to officials — followed, culminating with protesters risking arrest to stop the tree clearing. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "A lack of trees might hurt Indianapolis’ growth. Here’s why.," 4 June 2018 Trump’s recent tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have targeted allies in Europe, plus Japan, Canada and Mexico, while the U.S. is engaged in an escalating war of words with China, risking a full-blown trade war. Rosalind Mathieson, Bloomberg.com, "Singapore Says U.S., China Both Risking Status Quo With Actions," 3 June 2018 There are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump in U.K.: "I Don't Take Questions From CNN"," 13 July 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

5 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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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