[ odz ]
/ ɒdz /

noun (usually used with a plural verb)

the probability that something is so, will occur, or is more likely to occur than something else: The odds are that it will rain today.
the ratio of probability that something is so, will occur, or is more likely to occur than something else.
this ratio used as the basis of a bet; the ratio by which the bet of one party to a wager exceeds that of the other, granted by one of two betting opponents to equalize the chances favoring one of them: The odds are two-to-one that it won't rain today.
an equalizing allowance, as that given the weaker person or team in a contest; handicap.
an advantage or degree of superiority on the side of two contending parties; a difference favoring one of two contestants.
an amount or degree by which one thing is better or worse than another.

Nearby words

  1. oddity,
  2. oddly,
  3. oddment,
  4. oddments,
  5. oddness,
  6. odds and ends,
  7. odds and sods,
  8. odds are, the,
  9. odds-on,
  10. oddsbodikins


    at odds, at variance; in disagreement: They were usually at odds over political issues.
    by all odds, in every respect; by far; undoubtedly: She is by all odds the brightest child in the family.Also by long odds, by odds.

Origin of odds

First recorded in 1490–1500; special use of odd

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for at odds


/ (ɒdz) /

pl n

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

Word Origin and History for at odds



in wagering sense, found first in Shakespeare ("2 Henry IV," 1597), probably from earlier sense of "amount by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another" (1540s), from odd (q.v.), though the sense evolution is uncertain. Until 19c. treated as a singular, though obviously a plural (cf. news).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with at odds

at odds

In disagreement, opposed. For example, It is only natural for the young and old to be at odds over money matters. This idiom uses odds in the sense of “a condition of being unequal or different,” and transfers it to a difference of opinion, or quarrel. [Late 1500s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with odds

  • odds and ends
  • odds are, the

also see:

  • against all odds
  • at odds
  • by all odds
  • lay odds
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.