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

For instance, a McKinsey Global Institute report from November of last year found that 800 million jobs could be lost to worldwide automation by 2030, but only about 6 percent of all jobs are at risk of complete automation. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly," 12 Dec. 2018 Your skin, hair, and nails are all at risk of getting seriously dried out. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Ways to Keep Winter From Making Your Dry Eyes Worse," 11 Dec. 2018 To begin with, offspring of HIV-positive male parents are not considered to be at risk of picking up the infection during fertilization. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Reports out of China suggest first human gene-edited babies have been born," 26 Nov. 2018 Three-quarters of Yemen’s people require life-saving assistance and more than 8 million are at risk of starvation. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Aid group: 85,000 children may have died of hunger in Yemen," 21 Nov. 2018 At least half of all children under five years of age — about 770,000 of them — in that region are suffering from acute malnutrition, including 400,000 young people who are severely malnourished and at risk of death. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018 Women overall are at a greater risk of rape and domestic violence. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "14 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men," 6 Nov. 2018 The royals appeared as part of their joint work on the World Childhood Foundation, a charity that Queen Silvia founded to to benefit children at risk of abuse and survivors of childhood abuse. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Princess Madeleine of Sweden Just Shared the Sweetest Mother-Daughter Moment on Instagram," 8 Oct. 2018 On Saturday, the former president will stump for House Democratic candidates from California at an event in Orange County, a conservative-leaning part of California where Republicans are at risk of losing several congressional seats. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Obama returns to campaign trail with fiery speech; Trump counters, 'I fell asleep'," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2016, Gamble, Lyakh, and another man were spotted cavorting on Grand Prismatic Hot Spring in Yellowstone, damaging its sensitive microorganism mats and risking their lives in the process. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Doing It for the ‘Gram Turns Deadly," 9 July 2018 And these deputies are supposed to risk their lives for you and be grateful? Lauren Ritchie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake has ability to beef up Sheriff's Office and keep taxes reasonable," 25 June 2018 Just as a windy rain began falling Sunday morning at Camden Yards, the Orioles decided not to risk the weather and postpone their series finale with the Yankees before gates could even open. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles-Yankees game Sunday postponed due to weather, to be played as part of split doubleheader Aug. 25," 3 June 2018 Saudi officials are now lobbying Russia and other oil-exporting nations to cut production ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna next week, a move that risks angering Mr. Trump, who has pushed to keep oil prices low. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Saudi Prince Gets High-Five From Putin at G-20 Summit," 30 Nov. 2018 The White House has been intent on stoking a debate over immigration as a way to motivate Trump’s base to turn out for the midterm elections, in which Republicans risk losing the House. Josh Dawsey, The Seattle Times, "Trump vows to sign order ending birthright citizenship," 30 Oct. 2018 Riley’s film risks a fair percentage of its potential audience by making Green a conflicted, compromised figure, i.e., by letting him make his own mistakes. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Sorry to Bother You' review: Satirizing black identity and corporate ethics, ruthlessly," 5 July 2018 Anybody offering short-term rental in an apartment building risks a fine of as much as 40,000 euros. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "To Contain Tourism, One Spanish City Strikes a Ban, on Airbnb," 23 June 2018 While the tech industry is beginning to embrace some of the privacy approaches that are common in science, academia generally manages privacy risks far more effectively than most commercial entities. BostonGlobe.com, "What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy," 15 June 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

17 Dec 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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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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