Definition of hazard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhazərd/


1A danger or risk: the hazards of smoking
More example sentences
  • Ensuring safe delivery and optimal care of the baby at birth eliminates the risk of peri-natal hazards to the brain.
  • The minister said that farming is probably the only employment sector that poses such enormous direct risks and hazards for both children and elderly people.
  • The reports of anthrax cases have put a renewed focus on the risks and hazards posed by biological agents.
danger, risk, peril, threat, menace;
problem, pitfall
1.1A potential source of danger: a health hazard
More example sentences
  • There had been concerns about potential health and safety hazards, including the fact that Miss Halliday would have to wear a tightly-fitting corset.
  • The council has revealed that potential health hazards, like broken rails and track wear and tear, have led to the closure.
  • Depleted uranium is officially considered to be more of a toxic than a radiological hazard.
1.2A permanent feature of a golf course that presents an obstruction to playing a shot, such as a bunker or stream.
Example sentences
  • On holes where existing features provided hazards, fairway bunkers were deemed an unnecessary luxury.
  • Bunkers are hazards, according to the rules of golf.
  • He hit his tee shot in a hazard.
2 literary Chance; probability.
Example sentences
  • And although he tries to concoct it, there is scant sense of hazard.
  • In these poems, nothing is left to hazard or given for mere poetic effect.
  • Those changes simply could not have happened by hazard
chance, probability, fortuity, luck, fate, destiny, fortune, providence
3A gambling game using two dice, in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules.
Example sentences
  • The Game of Hazard may be played by any Number of Persons.
  • Who will go with me to hazard, For a hundred English prisoners?
  • The principal game played was hazard, of which there were two kinds.


[with object]
1Venture to say (something): he hazarded a guess
More example sentences
  • It is far too early to hazard any kind of decent guess at the likely outcome.
  • Everyone around him hazards a guess, but they are all wildly speculative.
  • At the end he hazards an estimate, cautiously and with qualifications, that the Aboriginal population was perhaps 600 when the settlers arrived.
venture, advance, put forward, volunteer, float;
conjecture, speculate, surmise
formal opine
2Put (something) at risk of being lost: the cargo business is too risky to hazard money on
More example sentences
  • In order to achieve a world record and generate a stunning effect, we defy great risks, even hazarding our lives.
  • I figured I'd force myself to take risks, hazard extra dangers, go where reporters weren't.
  • We should avoid the mistake of hazarding our national transport systems again.
risk, jeopardize, gamble, stake, bet, chance;
endanger, imperil


Middle English (sense 3 of the noun): from Old French hasard, from Spanish azar, from Arabic az-zahr 'chance, luck', from Persian zār or Turkish zar 'dice'.

  • haphazard from [late 16th century]:

    This is composed of Middle English hap ( see happy) ‘luck, fortune’ (from Old Norse happ) and hazard, which was initially a gambling game played with two dice in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules. It reached English in the Middle Ages through Arabic, Spanish, and French, but goes right back to Persian or Turkish zar ‘dice’. In the 16th century hazard came to mean ‘a chance’ and ‘a risk of loss or harm’.

Words that rhyme with hazard

haphazard, mazzard

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: haz·ard

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