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

  • n. The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger.
  • n. A factor, thing, element, or course involving uncertain danger; a hazard: "the usual risks of the desert: rattlesnakes, the heat, and lack of water” ( Frank Clancy).
  • n. The danger or probability of loss to an insurer.
  • n. The amount that an insurance company stands to lose.
  • n. The variability of returns from an investment.
  • n. The chance of nonpayment of a debt.
  • n. One considered with respect to the possibility of loss: a poor risk.
  • transitive v. To expose to a chance of loss or damage; hazard. See Synonyms at endanger.
  • transitive v. To incur the risk of: His action risked a sharp reprisal.
  • idiom at risk In an endangered state, especially from lack of proper care: unsupervised children who are at risk of dropping out of school.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A possible, usually negative, outcome, e.g., a danger.
  • n. The likelihood of a negative outcome.
  • n. The potential (conventionally negative) impact of an event, determined by combining the likelihood of the event occurring with the impact should it occur.
  • v. To incur risk (to something).
  • v. To incur risk (of something).
  • v. To incur risk (by something).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Hazard; danger; peril; exposure to loss, injury, or destruction.
  • n. Hazard of loss; liabillity to loss in property.
  • transitive v. To expose to risk, hazard, or peril; to venture.
  • transitive v. To incur the risk or danger of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hazard; expose to the chance of injury or loss.
  • To venture upon; take the chances of: as, to risk a surgical operation.
  • Synonyms To peril, jeopard, stake. See risk, n.
  • n. Hazard; danger; peril; exposure to mischance or harm; venture: as, at the risk of one's life; at the risk of contagion. Common in the phrase to run a (the) risk, to incur hazard; take the chance of failure or disaster.
  • n. In com.: The hazard of loss of ship, goods, or other property.
  • n. The degree of hazard or danger upon which the premiums of insurance are calculated.
  • n. Hence, by extension, insurance obligation: as, our company has no risks in that city.
  • n. Same as reesk and risp.

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

  • v. take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome
  • n. a venture undertaken without regard to possible loss or injury
  • n. the probability of becoming infected given that exposure to an infectious agent has occurred
  • v. expose to a chance of loss or damage
  • n. the probability of being exposed to an infectious agent
  • n. a source of danger; a possibility of incurring loss or misfortune


French risque, from Italian risco, rischio.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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