calculated risk


  1. a chance of failure, the probability of which is estimated before some action is undertaken.

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

A chance taken after careful estimation of the probable outcome, as in Taking their dispute to arbitration was definitely a calculated risk . This term uses calculated in the sense of “planned with forethought,” a usage from the mid-1800s. Its pairing with risk dates from World War II, when the chances for losing bombers were taken into account before a bombing mission was sent out. After the war the term was transferred to other undertakings where taking a chance to succeed had to be weighed against the costs of failure.

Discover More

Example Sentences

“No platform can foster niche community engagement the way TikTok can and progressive niche brands open to taking calculated risks can win big here,” Armoo said.

From Digiday

It’s a calculated risk, designed to unite fiercely independent Appalachian residents — one by one — behind a common goal.

For those living on South Florida’s coast, waking up with an ocean view comes with calculated risks.

From Time

Knowing when to take a calculated risk and when to abort are key, but small details like having really good coffee for your workers matter, too.

He took a calculated risk entering the quagmire of Italian politics and it backfired.

In launching Operation Pillar of Defence, Netanyahu is taking an uncharacteristic gamble—albeit a calculated risk.

This might inspire better general-election candidates to make the calculated risk that comes with running for president.

Displaying her trademark spirit, Pelosi took a calculated risk, and will likely pay a high price in just a few weeks.

Suarez, who was sent off for a deliberate handball, was more than deserved, but a calculated risk.

"It's what we call in warfare a calculated risk, Bud," he said.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.