Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[haz-erd] /ˈhæz ərd/
an unavoidable danger or risk, even though often foreseeable:
The job was full of hazards.
something causing unavoidable danger, peril, risk, or difficulty:
the many hazards of the big city.
the absence or lack of predictability; chance; uncertainty:
There is an element of hazard in the execution of the most painstaking plans.
Golf. a bunker, sand trap, or the like, constituting an obstacle.
the uncertainty of the result in throwing a die.
a game played with two dice, an earlier and more complicated form of craps.
Court Tennis. any of the winning openings.
(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)
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.
to put to the risk of being lost; expose to risk:
In making the investment, he hazarded all his savings.
to take or run the risk of (a misfortune, penalty, etc.):
Thieves hazard arrest.
to venture upon (anything of doubtful issue):
to hazard a dangerous encounter.
at hazard, at risk; at stake; subject to chance:
His reputation was at hazard in his new ventures.
1250-1300; Middle English hasard < Old French, perhaps < Arabic al-zahr the die
Related forms
hazardable, adjective
hazarder, noun
hazardless, adjective
prehazard, adjective
unhazarded, adjective
unhazarding, adjective
well-hazarded, adjective
1. See danger. 3. accident, fortuity, fortuitousness. 10. stake, endanger, peril, imperil.
1. safety. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for hazards
  • To describe the territory they flew over as hostile is to understate the hazards.
  • The city said it must take care of public health hazards before it will be completely reopened.
  • It's not so much that the throw rugs can slip and slide, it's that the edges of the rugs present fall hazards.
  • It's not sick, but it's easy to visualize its hazards.
  • Even so, the hazards of commercial nuclear power could not be entirely ignored.
  • Much has been made recently about the hazards and the inconveniences of flying.
  • Because no plaintiff can claim ignorance of tobacco's hazards, its manufacturers cannot be held negligent for selling it.
  • He's a supreme study of the writer as public figure and the hazards thereof.
  • The scandal also reveals the hazards of running a company as a family concern.
  • Yet these advantages are outweighed by several looming hazards.
British Dictionary definitions for hazards


exposure or vulnerability to injury, loss, evil, etc
at hazard, at risk; in danger
a thing likely to cause injury, etc
(golf) an obstacle such as a bunker, a road, rough, water, etc
chance; accident (esp in the phrase by hazard)
a gambling game played with two dice
(real tennis)
  1. the receiver's side of the court
  2. one of the winning openings
(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 (transitive)
to chance or risk
to venture (an opinion, guess, etc)
to expose to danger
Derived Forms
hazardable, adjective
hazard-free, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French hasard, from Arabic az-zahr the die
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hazards



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for hazards


dice game dating at least to the 13th century and possibly of Arabic origin: the word hazard derives from the Arabic al-zahr ("die"). It was immensely popular in medieval Europe and was played for high stakes in English gambling rooms. The name of the popular American dice game of craps derives from the nickname "crabs" for the throws 1-1 and 1-2 in hazard. The modern rules of craps also grew out of the old English game

Learn more about hazard with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hazard

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hazards

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with hazards

Nearby words for hazards