jeopardy

noun
jeop·​ar·​dy | \ ˈje-pər-dē How to pronounce jeopardy (audio) \

Definition of jeopardy

1 : exposure to or imminence of death, loss, or injury : danger placing their lives in jeopardy workers in jeopardy of losing their jobs
2 law : the danger that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense

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Did you know?

Geoffrey Chaucer employed the word jeopardy in his late 14th-century masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, but its Middle English form can make it hard to spot: it appears in the phrase "in jupartie" with a meaning very much akin to the word's meaning in the modern phrase "in jeopardy"—that is, "in danger." The spellings of what we now render only as jeopardy were formerly myriad. The Oxford English Dictionary reports that between the late 14th and mid-17th centuries the word was spelled in a great variety of ways, among them iuperti, yoberte, iepardye, ieoberye, and jobardy.

Examples of jeopardy in a Sentence

the city's firefighters routinely put their lives in jeopardy by executing daring rescues
Recent Examples on the Web With his agenda in jeopardy on Capitol Hill, Biden on Tuesday will visit the Michigan district of a moderate Democratic lawmaker who has urged him to promote his proposals more aggressively to the public. Jonathan Lemire, ajc, 5 Oct. 2021 Six months later, with her country in disarray and her safety in jeopardy as a woman living under Taliban rule, Jami is still waiting to hear about that interview. Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2021 With his agenda in jeopardy on Capitol Hill, Biden on Tuesday will visit the Michigan district of a moderate Democratic lawmaker who has urged him to promote his proposals more aggressively to the public. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Oct. 2021 Mayor Shelly Petrolia said Old School Square itself is not in jeopardy. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, 5 Oct. 2021 Supermarkets have run low on milk and other essentials, and the supply of turkeys and toys for Christmas is in jeopardy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2021 This has already put a ubiquitous campaign promise on an issue with some 80 percent public support in jeopardy—and that’s before centrist senators like Kyrsten Sinema have had their chance to damage it further. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 5 Oct. 2021 With a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, many now fear that Roe could be in jeopardy. The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 3 Oct. 2021 President Joe Biden vowed Friday that Democrats will deliver on their agenda as congressional leaders attempt to resolve intra-party divisions that have put passage of the two bills in jeopardy. Daniella Diaz, CNN, 2 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jeopardy.' 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 jeopardy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jeopardy

Middle English jeopardie, from Anglo-French juparti, jeuparti alternative, literally, divided game

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Time Traveler for jeopardy

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The first known use of jeopardy was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near jeopardy

jeopardous

jeopardy

jequirity

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Statistics for jeopardy

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jeopardy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jeopardy. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for jeopardy

jeopardy

noun
jeop·​ar·​dy | \ ˈje-pər-dē How to pronounce jeopardy (audio) \

Kids Definition of jeopardy

: danger sense 1 The wrong choice could put your future in jeopardy.

jeopardy

noun
jeop·​ar·​dy | \ ˈje-pər-dē How to pronounce jeopardy (audio) \

Legal Definition of jeopardy

1 : exposure to or imminence of death, loss, or injury
2 : the danger of conviction that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense — see also double jeopardy

Note: Jeopardy attaches, or comes into effect for double jeopardy purposes, when a jury is sworn in or, in a non-jury trial, when the judge begins to hear evidence. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids double jeopardy for the same offense, and this applies whether the first trial ends in acquittal, conviction, or a mistrial. If a mistrial occurs due to a manifest necessity or if a defendant appeals a conviction, however, the rule against double jeopardy does not apply. The issue of manifest necessity is determined by the trial judge and, if necessary, by an appeals court.

More from Merriam-Webster on jeopardy

Nglish: Translation of jeopardy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jeopardy for Arabic Speakers

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