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

Protest arrests can be a badge of honor for some activists, but ending up in police custody can involve risks, especially for people of color, disabled people, LGBTQ people, or others. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "5 Protest Tactics We Loved in 2018," 29 Dec. 2018 From Las Vegas to Detroit to Austin, cities got to test the waters of autonomy in a low-risk, high-reward way. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "The good, the bad, and the ugly of self-driving cars in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 The problem is when drug use turns compulsive and harmful — creating health risks, leading someone to neglect family and children, driving someone to commit crimes, and so on. German Lopez, Vox, "The simple idea that could help end America’s opioid epidemic," 26 Dec. 2018 Innovators' chronicles our treks behind the scenes with travel's disruptors and free thinkers—the people who lead rather than follow, who break things, take risks, solve problems in fresh ways. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "JetBlue Founder David Neeleman on How New Airline Moxy Will Change the Way We Fly," 12 Dec. 2018 The data problem The risk for racial bias starts with the data used by DNA tests. Dieter Holger, PCWorld, "DNA testing for ancestry is more detailed for white people. Here’s why, and how it's changing," 4 Dec. 2018 To offload risk, Square sells the bulk of its loans to outside investment firms. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "A $150,000 Small Business Loan—From an App," 28 Dec. 2018 Research shows that cohorts that have lived through economic downturns have lower appetites for financial risk. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design," 27 Dec. 2018 Additionally, the risks differed based on the type of cancer a participant had. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here's What You Need to Know About the Study That Says Giving Birth Increases Your Breast Cancer Risk," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Speaking up can also risk financial troubles, since many congregations of nuns are financially subservient to priests and bishops. Tim Sullivan, The Seattle Times, "AP finds long history of nuns abused by priests in India," 1 Jan. 2019 And that's understandable, because who would want to risk getting foundation caked around the gems' settings? Marci Robin, Allure, "We Talked to Artis About Those $25,000 Diamond-Encrusted Makeup Brushes It Just Launched," 12 Nov. 2018 Noisy rows would risk undermining the sense of political unity on which deterrence depends. The Economist, "Will Donald Trump be Triumphant, Tetchy or Torpedo?," 5 July 2018 However, players that miss the green to the right will risk losing multiple shots to par. star-telegram, "How to play the Trinity Forest golf course: Be creative and embrace the character | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 May 2018 Brands that don’t play ball risk their reputations. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Plastic Is Big Food’s Next Headache," 28 Dec. 2018 Joe couldn’t win Beck back after a late-in-season breakup or the show would risk contradicting itself. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "You, now streaming on Netflix, tilts the rom-com into postmodern horror," 27 Dec. 2018 It’s also used by Apple to collect data from iPhones without risking customer privacy. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How a Startup Is Using the Blockchain to Protect Your Privacy," 11 July 2018 Any delays in this process risks creating security gaps, wherein a flaw is fixed in Chrome/Chromium but still exposed in Edge. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Edge dies a death of a thousand cuts as Microsoft switches to Chromium," 6 Dec. 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

15 Jan 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 \

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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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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