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 riskless (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 the company also used legal marketing practices to boost opioid sales, despite its knowledge of the risks associated with the drug. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "The marketing practices that worsened America’s opioid epidemic are making their way overseas," 24 Aug. 2019 The inverted yield curve and trade war do warn of a higher risk of recession over the next year. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Econometer: Is the yield curve change a sign of a recession?," 23 Aug. 2019 In fantasy football, there’s some type of risk with almost every player. Adam Ronis, SI.com, "When is it Safe to Select Colts QB Andrew Luck in Fantasy Drafts?," 23 Aug. 2019 The bond holders and the markets are just completely aware of the different risk that surround the company and are completely comfortable with them. Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, "Citgo’s new CEO confident in an uncertain time," 23 Aug. 2019 Arterburn says that the inexact science of concussions prevented a realistic assessment of the risk of that type of injury. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "What Happens When a Drone Crashes Into Your Face?," 22 Aug. 2019 That means primary care providers need to get better at recognizing the signs of suicide risk. Lizz Schumer, Woman's Day, "Is Suicide Preventable? Experts Weigh In," 22 Aug. 2019 But this is one case where popular perceptions of risk are skewed. Alan Wirzbicki, BostonGlobe.com, "The free, all-natural, and quite handsome solution to Lyme disease and other tick maladies," 22 Aug. 2019 Sparks testified that Benjamin accepted $150,000 to resign instead of risk being fired. Washington Post, "Jury backs Nicholas Sparks in lawsuit by former school head," 21 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The result, Jinyong said, risked prioritizing the environment over humans escaping poverty. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The Conundrum at the Heart of China’s Belt and Road Initiative," 5 Sep. 2019 Some are complicit, others risk their lives resisting. Hillel Italie, Twin Cities, "Margaret Atwood writes sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’," 1 Sep. 2019 Outside France, Poland and Switzerland, the director can’t go anywhere, period, without risking extradition. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Roman Polanski’s latest, a quest for justice directed by a fugitive, drips with irony. It’s also Polanski’s best since ‘The Pianist.'," 30 Aug. 2019 Although the Justice Department made the money available to the state in July, the state can’t accept or draw from the money without risking penalties due to the sanctuary law, according to court records. oregonlive.com, "Feds can’t withhold public safety grants for Oregon, city of Portland based on sanctuary law, judge rules," 8 Aug. 2019 Now consumers risk acting with the same sense of arrogance. Alain Sylvain, Quartz at Work, "What happens when social media’s “cancel culture” misses the point?," 1 Aug. 2019 Don't risk your brain turning to jello too! ... bicycle helmets for EVERYONE!!!! Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Counting On' Fans Were Concerned About Joy-Anna Duggar After Seeing Her Latest Instagram," 25 July 2019 These can be lit and will smolder long enough to be used to ignite the fuse without risking catching anything else on fire or burning the user. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "How to Have Fun (and Stay Safe) During This Year's Fireworks-Filled Fourth," 1 July 2019 That growth has also reduced the clout and profits of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, enabling President Trump to impose sanctions on Iran and Venezuela without risking higher gasoline prices or shortages. Clifford Krauss, BostonGlobe.com, "US oil companies find energy independence isn’t so profitable," 30 June 2019

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

27 Aug 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 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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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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