Definition of hazard in English:


Line breaks: haz¦ard
Pronunciation: /ˈhazəd


  • 1A danger or risk: the hazards of childbirth
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    • 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.
  • 1.1A potential source of danger: a fire hazard a health hazard
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    • He could not hide the fact that most buildings in the town were potential fire hazards.
    • There had been concerns about potential health and safety hazards, including the fact that Miss Halliday would have to wear a tightly-fitting corset.
    • Many destructive fires start during such times, since potential fire hazards can go unnoticed in the relative darkness.
  • 1.2A permanent feature of a golf course which presents an obstruction to playing a shot, such as a bunker or stream.
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    • 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.
  • 3 [mass noun] A gambling game using two dice, in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules.
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    • 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.
  • 4(In real tennis) each of the winning openings in the court.
  • 5 Billiards A stroke with which a ball is pocketed.
  • 5.1 (losing hazard) The pocketing of the cue ball off another ball.
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    • In making a short losing hazard into the right top pocket across the head of the board, Newman just grazed his opponent's ball with his cue.
    • A player fails to score and gives way to his opponents if his stroke does not result in a cannon, a losing hazard or a winning hazard.
    • He miscued on a very simple losing hazard in the centre pocket as a result of overstretching for the shot.
  • 5.2 (winning hazard) The pocketing of the object ball.
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    • Wherever the winning hazard reigns he has this strong pull over all possible opponents.
    • The winning hazard becomes automatic.
    • A player fails to score and gives way to his opponents if his stroke does not result in a cannon, a losing hazard or a winning hazard.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Say (something) in a tentative way: he hazarded a guess
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    • 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, put forward, proffer, advance, volunteer; conjecture, speculate, surmise
    formal opine
  • 2Put (something) at risk of being lost: the cargo business is too risky to hazard money on
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    • 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, put at risk, jeopardize, chance, gamble, stake, bet, take a chance with; endanger, imperil, expose to danger, put in jeopardy


Middle English (in 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'.

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