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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The administration needs to change tactics now or risk jeopardising the midterms... Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Mnuchin is in denial about the pain Trump's tariffs are inducing," 13 July 2018 Celmatix will mine this dataset for connections that could improve the test’s evaluations of genetic risk, as well as new genetic markers of reproductive health. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Company Wants Your Fertility Data," 13 July 2018 Now, with Trump in the White House, Roby is at risk of losing her congressional seat. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Alabama's Bright, Roby face runoff election: A look at the congressional candidates," 13 July 2018 Fresh from that sale, Blackstone is betting on smaller warehouses in big European cities, a segment less at risk of over-development. Fortune, "This Is London's Hottest Property — Thanks to Amazon," 13 July 2018 Physicians treating pain in patients with a distant history of addiction can unwittingly put patients at risk of relapse by prescribing opioids without appropriate counseling. Melissa Stein, STAT, "Privacy laws are hurting the care of patients with addiction," 13 July 2018 The narrow cave passages that the divers had to navigate, combined with the fact that most of the boys could not swim and were likely malnourished and at risk of panicking, made the operation trickier, Dalcher added. Billy Kobin, Indianapolis Star, "Hoosier cave diving experts: 'Never heard of anything' like Thailand rescue," 12 July 2018 The airline figured out that ramp workers’ habit of using the same arm to move bags on and off the aircraft put them at risk of rotator cuff injuries requiring surgery. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "From birthday wishes for passengers to tracking baggage handler injuries, airlines tap big data to try to improve operations," 12 July 2018 An Arizona Republic analysis of state audits found that dozens of charter schools are at risk of closing within a year because of poor finances. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "Arizona superintendent candidates: Charters need more financial oversight," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Jason Phillips, the Friant Authority’s chief executive, said hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland would risk going out of production if their water supply remains constricted. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 Patricia Okoumou, however, took it further, risking life, limb, and liberty in free-climbing the 100-foot-tall pedestal base of the Statue of Liberty and lying at its feet. Shamira Ibrahim, Daily Intelligencer, "Patricia Okoumou and the Threat to Black Immigrants," 13 July 2018 Members of the Thai navy SEALs and foreign divers squeezed through miles of tunnels, risking their lives to find and carry the young players through an underwater matrix that daunted the British specialists brought in to help. Hannah Beech, The Seattle Times, "For some Thai soccer-team members, cave ordeal was only their latest test," 10 July 2018 Should Dalic choose not to risk right back Vrsaljko, then former Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka will take his place in the Croatia back four. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid Hope to Prevent Injured Full Back Sime Vrsaljko From Playing in World Cup Semi Final," 10 July 2018 Or risk more lives being taken away in shooting after shooting while Republicans continue to belittle us with thoughts and prayers. refinery29.com, "The Capital Gazette Shooting Is A Tragic Reminder: Take Abuse Of Women Seriously.," 29 June 2018 Those who want to keep their roosters but cannot risk angering the neighbors or alerting authorities might turn to a collar. Author: Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s a boy! Chicken owners face a dilemma when hens turn out to be roosters.," 19 June 2018 But Obama, at least, didn’t openly risk war to end North Korea’s program. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The real reason Trump’s North Korea summit failed," 24 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about risk

Statistics for risk

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for risk

The first known use of risk was in 1655

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on risk

What made you want to look up risk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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