View synonyms for risk


[ risk ]


  1. exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance:

    It's not worth the risk.

    Synonyms: jeopardy, peril, venture

  2. Insurance.
    1. the hazard or chance of loss.
    2. the degree of probability of such loss.
    3. the amount that the insurance company may lose.
    4. a person or thing with reference to the hazard involved in insuring him, her, or it.
    5. the type of loss, as life, fire, marine disaster, or earthquake, against which an insurance policy is drawn.

verb (used with object)

  1. to expose to the chance of injury or loss; hazard:

    to risk one's life.

    Synonyms: imperil, jeopardize, endanger

  2. to venture upon; take or run the chance of:

    to risk a fall in climbing;

    to risk a war.

    Synonyms: chance


/ rɪsk /


  1. the possibility of incurring misfortune or loss; hazard
  2. insurance
    1. chance of a loss or other event on which a claim may be filed
    2. the type of such an event, such as fire or theft
    3. the amount of the claim should such an event occur
    4. a person or thing considered with respect to the characteristics that may cause an insured event to occur
  3. at risk
    1. vulnerable; likely to be lost or damaged
    2. social welfare vulnerable to personal damage, to the extent that a welfare agency might take protective responsibility
  4. no risk informal.
    an expression of assent
  5. take a risk or run a risk
    to proceed in an action without regard to the possibility of danger involved in it


  1. to expose to danger or loss; hazard
  2. to act in spite of the possibility of (injury or loss)

    to risk a fall in climbing

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Derived Forms

  • ˈrisker, noun

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Other Words From

  • risker noun
  • riskless adjective
  • un·risked adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of risk1

First recorded in 1655–65; from French risque, from Italian rischio, risco, of obscure origin

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Word History and Origins

Origin of risk1

C17: from French risque , from Italian risco , from rischiare to be in peril, from Greek rhiza cliff (from the hazards of sailing along rocky coasts)

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. at risk,
    1. in a dangerous situation or status; in jeopardy:

      families at risk in the area of the weakened dam.

    2. under financial or legal obligation; held responsible:

      Are individual investors at risk for the debt part of the real estate venture?

  2. take / run a risk, to expose oneself to the chance of injury or loss; put oneself in danger; hazard; venture.

More idioms and phrases containing risk

In addition to the idiom beginning with risk , also see at risk ; calculated risk ; run a risk .

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Example Sentences

Along with deforestation, climate change also plays a role in increasing fire risk in the Amazon and Pantanal.

From Vox

That won’t lessen the current level of risk, but it could at least limit how much worse things get.

Water customers in Imperial Beach and Coronado were at risk of a suspect pricing mechanism, according to a ratepayer watchdog, until state regulators stepped in late last month.

Some groups are subject to disproportionate risks so that other groups reap disproportionate benefits.

When nothing else is predictable, brands can afford to take risks.

From Digiday

Obsessive exercising and inadequate nutrition can, over time, put people at high risk for overuse injuries like stress fractures.

Together, the teams are working 24 hours a day for a product that promises much higher risk than it does profit.

Politicians who openly associated with Duke, or his hard-core associates, did so at their own risk.

Advanced maternal age dramatically increases the risk of maternal mortality as well as birth defects like Down Syndrome.

It denotes the person that puts on the badge, puts on the blue uniform, and goes into the streets to put their life at risk.

But a lawyer who needed the wherewithal finally condescended to risk the task, and into it he plunged.

If the Duke de Ripperda be found, he must be taken alive, at the risk of those who seek him.

Assuredly, this was an occasion when the sacrifice of a few minutes might avoid the grave risk of a breakdown after daybreak.

The hospitals in the capital were crowded with wounded soldiers, brought in at great risk from the rural districts.

We find these figures in “Chance,”‌ which by Concurrence describes the risk they ran.


Related Words

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.




rising trotrisk-averse