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[jep-er-dee] /ˈdʒɛp ər di/
noun, plural jeopardies.
hazard or risk of or exposure to loss, harm, death, or injury:
For a moment his life was in jeopardy.
peril or danger:
The spy was in constant jeopardy of being discovered.
Law. the danger or hazard of being found guilty, and of consequent punishment, undergone by criminal defendants on trial.
Origin of jeopardy
1200-50; Middle English j(e)uparti, joupardi(e), j(e)upardi(e) < Anglo-French, Old French: literally, divided game or play, hence, uncertain chance, problem (in chess or love), equivalent to j(e)u play, game (< Latin jocus joke) + parti, past participle of partir to divide; see party
1, 2. security.
Synonym Study
1, 2. See danger. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jeopardy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now do be careful of yourself, pray do, and consider what jeopardy you might have stood in.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • What was a boy's whiplash, that his resentment of it; should set all his future life in jeopardy?

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • I would not have those of your meinie brought into jeopardy for my cause.'

    Two Penniless Princesses Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The astronomical endowment was soon in jeopardy by litigation.

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • They had volunteered to serve him, and put themselves in jeopardy for his sake.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for jeopardy


noun (usually preceded by in)
danger of injury, loss, death, etc; risk; peril; hazard: his health was in jeopardy
(law) danger of being convicted and punished for a criminal offence See also double jeopardy
Word Origin
C14: from Old French jeu parti, literally: divided game, hence uncertain issue, from jeu game, from Latin jocus joke, game + partir to divide, from Latin partīrī
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jeopardy

c.1300, ioparde (13c. in Anglo-French), from Old French jeu parti, literally "a divided game, game with even chances," from jeu "a game" (from Latin iocus "jest;" see joke (n.)) + parti, past participle of partir "to divide" (see part (v.)). Originally "a stratagem;" sense of "danger, risk" is late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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