1. an unavoidable danger or risk, even though often foreseeable: The job was full of hazards.
  2. something causing unavoidable danger, peril, risk, or difficulty: the many hazards of the big city.
  3. the absence or lack of predictability; chance; uncertainty: There is an element of hazard in the execution of the most painstaking plans.
  4. Golf. a bunker, sand trap, or the like, constituting an obstacle.
  5. the uncertainty of the result in throwing a die.
  6. a game played with two dice, an earlier and more complicated form of craps.
  7. Court Tennis. any of the winning openings.
  8. (in English billiards) a stroke by which the player pockets the object ball (winning hazard) or his or her own ball after contact with another ball (losing hazard).

verb (used with object)

  1. to offer (a statement, conjecture, etc.) with the possibility of facing criticism, disapproval, failure, or the like; venture: He hazarded a guess, with trepidation, as to her motives in writing the article.
  2. to put to the risk of being lost; expose to risk: In making the investment, he hazarded all his savings.
  3. to take or run the risk of (a misfortune, penalty, etc.): Thieves hazard arrest.
  4. to venture upon (anything of doubtful issue): to hazard a dangerous encounter.
  1. at hazard, at risk; at stake; subject to chance: His reputation was at hazard in his new ventures.


  1. exposure or vulnerability to injury, loss, evil, etc
  2. at hazard at risk; in danger
  3. a thing likely to cause injury, etc
  4. golf an obstacle such as a bunker, a road, rough, water, etc
  5. chance; accident (esp in the phrase by hazard)
  6. a gambling game played with two dice
  7. real tennis
    1. the receiver’s side of the court
    2. one of the winning openings
  8. billiards a scoring stroke made either when a ball other than the striker’s is pocketed (winning hazard) or the striker’s cue ball itself (losing hazard)

verb (tr)

  1. to chance or risk
  2. to venture (an opinion, guess, etc)
  3. to expose to danger

c.1300, from Old French hasard, hasart (12c.) “game of chance played with dice,” possibly from Spanish azar “an unfortunate card or throw at dice,” which is said to be from Arabic az-zahr (for al-zahr) “the die.” But this is doubtful because of the absence of zahr in classical Arabic dictionaries. Klein suggests Arabic yasara “he played at dice;” Arabic -s- regularly becomes Spanish -z-. The -d was added in French in confusion with the native suffix -ard. Sense evolved in French to “chances in gambling,” then “chances in life.” In English, sense of “chance of loss or harm, risk” first recorded 1540s.


“put something at stake in a game of chance,” 1520s, from Middle French hasarder “to play at gambling” (15c.), from hasard (see hazard (n.)). Related: Hazarded; hazarding.

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