Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun plural A certain number of points given beforehand to a weaker side in a contest to equalize the chances of all participants.
  • noun plural The ratio of the probability of an event's occurring to the probability of its not occurring.
  • noun plural The likelihood of the occurrence of one thing rather than the occurrence of another thing, as in a contest.
  • noun plural Games A ratio expressing the amount by which the stake of one bettor differs from that of an opposing bettor.
  • noun plural An amount or degree by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another.
  • idiom (at odds) In disagreement; in conflict.
  • idiom (by all odds) In every possible way; unquestionably.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Inequality; difference, especially in favor of one and against another; excess in favor of one as compared with another.
  • Hence Advantage; superiority.
  • In betting, the amount or proportion by which the bet of one party to a wager exceeds that of the other: as, to lay or give odds.
  • Hence Probability or degree of probability in favor of that on which odds are laid.
  • In certain games, equalizing allowance given to a weaker side or player by a stronger, as a piece at chess or points at tennis; an allowance as handicap.
  • Er. You that are so good a Gamester ought to give me Odds.
  • Quarrel; dispute; debate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Difference in favor of one and against another; excess of one of two things or numbers over the other; inequality; advantage; superiority; hence, excess of chances; probability. The odds are often expressed by a ratio
  • noun Quarrel; dispute; debate; strife; -- chiefly in the phrase at odds.
  • noun in dispute; at variance.
  • noun [Obs.] it is probable; same as odds are, but no longer used.
  • noun it is probable.
  • noun that which is left; remnants; fragments; refuse; scraps; miscellaneous articles.
  • noun low odds; poor chances.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The ratio of the probabilities of an event happening to that of it not happening.
  • noun The ratio of winnings to stake in betting situations.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the likelihood of a thing occurring rather than not occurring
  • noun the ratio by which one better's wager is greater than that of another

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Pl. of odd.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From odd ("uneven, strange")

Examples

  • Oliver's greatest competition for the Christmas number one spot is the Guinness Book of World Records, according to William Hill, which is giving the title odds of 11/2 to top the charts.

    Jamie Oliver tipped for another Christmas number one

  • Bookmakers have now slashed his title odds from 400/1 to 28/1.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • A desire to beat the odds is at the core of No Horizon Is So Far, as Arnesen and Bancroft trace the roots of why they came to Antarctica to risk frostbite, injury, and death on a daily basis.

    No Horizon Is So Far by Ann Bancroft: Questions

  • What kind of odds is Vegas giving that the winner will be a very hot 25 year old woman with huge cans and a rear end that can balance a quarter?

    Bill Clinton lends a hand on wife's debt

  • Many "are hedging their bets — waiting to see if they can improve their long-term odds by making sure they're economically and emotionally secure with each other."

    Fewer couples embrace marriage; more live together

  • Adding the biological drug Herceptin, approved by the FDA in 2006 for use in early-stage cancers like mine, could increase my survival odds from a coin flip to 95 percent.

    My Drug Problem

  • But the long-term odds are against a company like Pandora surviving just because it can be so difficult to negotiate a good deal on music rights and then make money.

    Pandora Plays a Hot Tune

  • The digital revolution has swept away many tree-based products, but the lowly business card, against all odds, is thriving.

    Business cards thrive in a digital age

  • But the long-term odds are against a company like Pandora surviving just because it can be so difficult to negotiate a good deal on music rights and then make money.

    Pandora Plays a Hot Tune

  • Many "are hedging their bets — waiting to see if they can improve their long-term odds by making sure they're economically and emotionally secure with each other."

    Fewer couples embrace marriage; more live together

Comments

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  • Using RANDOM WORD I landed on the word pinning followed by the word pining. What are the odds? I've had other curious things happen during this function like the same word appearing after only 2 or 3 clicks.

    June 25, 2015