noun, plural jeop·ard·ies.

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

Synonym study

1, 2. See danger.

Antonyms for jeopardy

1, 2. security. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jeopardy

Contemporary Examples of jeopardy

Historical Examples of jeopardy

  • 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.

  • 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; hazardhis health was in jeopardy
law danger of being convicted and punished for a criminal offenceSee also double jeopardy

Word Origin for jeopardy

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

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