Definition of hazard in US English:



  • 1A danger or risk.

    ‘the hazards of smoking’
    • ‘Across the country the organisation has brought together experts in infectious disease, and chemical and radiation hazards.’
    • ‘There are no guarantees, except to say that the hazard or risk can be reduced if conservation practices are properly applied.’
    • ‘Tornado hazard in such regions is probably somewhat higher than the model predicts.’
    • ‘It's expected to make users aware of the scientific uncertainties about the use of mobiles and will focus on the potential health hazards to children.’
    • ‘All chemicals must be accompanied by public data on hazards or risk being taken off the market.’
    • ‘If ever you see a flooded road, or another traffic hazard, be sure to phone into the studio.’
    • ‘She told The Washington Post that the hazards and risks of nanotechnology are poorly understood.’
    • ‘Greater floodplain occupancy is putting more people at risk to the flood hazard.’
    • ‘The benefits of antiplatelet therapy outweigh any hazards.’
    • ‘The main hazard is the risk of deep vein thrombosis.’
    • ‘The doctor delivered a speech on the hazards of smoking.’
    • ‘The Department of Education recently wrote to all primary schools reminding them of the potential health hazards posed by overweight schoolbags.’
    • ‘The 1998 case is a notorious example of the hazards of credit risk.’
    • ‘Ensuring safe delivery and optimal care of the baby at birth eliminates the risk of peri-natal hazards to the brain.’
    • ‘The reports of anthrax cases have put a renewed focus on the risks and hazards posed by biological agents.’
    • ‘These will detail the effects of smallpox, anthrax, mustard gas and other chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards.’
    • ‘A high incidence of brush fires has raised concerns about the potential hazard that could result from exposed terrain affected by heat.’
    • ‘Choked drains and polluted water bodies are to be tracked and cleaned up as they are the potential sources of health hazards.’
    • ‘I can't think of many politicians in the past five years who have risked the hazards of a modern high school classroom or a teeming community college campus.’
    • ‘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.’
    danger, risk, peril, threat, menace
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    1. 1.1 A potential source of danger.
      ‘a health hazard’
      • ‘All employers must identify hazards, assess risks and prepare a safety statement, which must then be communicated to employees.’
      • ‘He should be alert to the hazards and risks inherent in any professional task he undertakes.’
      • ‘Once airborne, we received more information and re-evaluated the situation, hazards, and risks.’
      • ‘It was shut following a risk assessment by the council, which identified several dangerous hazards.’
      • ‘What happens if the residual hazards identified in the risk analysis cannot be avoided?’
      • ‘Security can be regarded as the absence of risks and hazards.’
      • ‘The planning system should guide development to lessen the risk from natural or man made hazards.’
      • ‘If you are confident that you understand the work, you can do the hazard identification and risk assessment yourself.’
      • ‘There had been concerns about potential health and safety hazards, including the fact that Miss Halliday would have to wear a tightly-fitting corset.’
      • ‘Another hazard is tending to accident victims or to people who need medical assistance.’
      • ‘It identifies the hazards and associated risks and then lists the control measures that need to be put in place.’
      • ‘I remember that those toys were recalled because they were a choking hazard.’
      • ‘Depleted uranium is officially considered to be more of a toxic than a radiological hazard.’
      • ‘After assessing each hazard, you develop one or more controls to either eliminate the hazard or reduce the risk of a mishap.’
      • ‘Some camps have taken the necessary steps to control cooking hazards and the risk of fire.’
      • ‘Controls are actions taken to eliminate hazards or reduce risk.’
      • ‘This teaches us to assess and minimize risk by identifying hazards and implementing controls.’
      • ‘They claim they face hazards including risks of flood, fire, gas and explosion and should not be expected to work the long shifts.’
      • ‘The crew failed to identify hazards, to assess risks and to implement controls.’
      • ‘The council has revealed that potential health hazards, like broken rails and track wear and tear, have led to the closure.’
    2. 1.2 A permanent feature of a golf course which presents an obstruction to playing a shot, such as a bunker or stream.
      • ‘While bunkers are hazards by the rules of golf, the native grass edging is not a hazard but plays as difficult or even more difficult.’
      • ‘No matter which treatment method is used, the basic rules for maintaining water features and hazards remain the same.’
      • ‘I aim away from the hazard and land safely.’
      • ‘There are powder-white bunkers and marshland as hazards.’
      • ‘A player's tee shot lands in the fairway and rolls toward a water hazard, but the player can't see if it went in.’
      • ‘On holes where existing features provided hazards, fairway bunkers were deemed an unnecessary luxury.’
      • ‘The solution is to sometimes remind golfers that sand bunkers are a hazard.’
      • ‘He chased his errant tee shot into a hazard.’
      • ‘An architect probably is in the best position to determine the strategic aspects of the bunker as a hazard.’
      • ‘He planted an awesome approach shot on the green from the edge of a water hazard.’
      • ‘Bunkers are hazards, according to the rules of golf.’
      • ‘I guess because of the distance and the water hazard, it seemed like a miracle shot.’
      • ‘Water hazards are especially tricky for grounding your club.’
      • ‘He got a great kick out of tackling Mount Juliet's delightful putting green with its water hazards and bunkers.’
      • ‘He hit his tee shot in a hazard.’
      • ‘The course provides a stern test for competitors as it features sharp, rolling contours, mini-lake water hazards and sand bunkers.’
      • ‘Thinking my ball was lost after hitting a tee shot into a water hazard, l played a provisional ball.’
      • ‘One segment in the movie features the group driving golf cars recklessly around a course, jumping over bunkers and water hazards.’
      • ‘When you have to carry a hazard or greenside bunker, find out what the yardage is, add 10 yards, and play to that distance.’
      • ‘You'll see grass bend as balls roll through the rough, or see clouds of sand fly up as an errant shot falls into a hazard.’
  • 2literary Chance; probability.

    • ‘In these poems, nothing is left to hazard or given for mere poetic effect.’
    • ‘And although he tries to concoct it, there is scant sense of hazard.’
    • ‘Those changes simply could not have happened by hazard’
    chance, probability, fortuity, luck, fate, destiny, fortune, providence, serendipity, accident
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  • 3A gambling game using two dice, in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules.

    • ‘The Game of Hazard may be played by any Number of Persons.’
    • ‘The principal game played was hazard, of which there were two kinds.’
    • ‘Who will go with me to hazard, For a hundred English prisoners?’


[with object]
  • 1Venture to say (something)

    ‘he hazarded a guess’
    • ‘I'm tempted to leave those as rhetorical questions, but I'll hazard an answer.’
    • ‘I've been wrong too many times before to hazard a guess now.’
    • ‘Although I'll hazard the guess that Paris will win, I think I'll express a preference for London!’
    • ‘Of the 1,000 parents and grandparents surveyed, 28% were unable even to hazard a guess about the level of costs.’
    • ‘Without a menu in front of me, I genuinely couldn't have hazarded a sensible stab at what the meal's components were.’
    • ‘But I will nevertheless hazard offering two observations.’
    • ‘I could hazard a guess, but it would be merely that - a guess.’
    • ‘At the end he hazards an estimate, cautiously and with qualifications, that the Aboriginal population was perhaps 600 when the settlers arrived.’
    • ‘Thankfully, the only person who hazarded a guess got it wrong.’
    • ‘I hazard to state that there would be very few rape victims who are not, on a daily basis, reminded of the crime committed against them.’
    • ‘It is far too early to hazard any kind of decent guess at the likely outcome.’
    • ‘Orwell admired Joyce as the king of literary modernism, while hazarding the possibility that his best books may well turn out to be Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.’
    • ‘It is almost impossible to hazard a guess as to what will happen.’
    • ‘Everyone around him hazards a guess, but they are all wildly speculative.’
    • ‘And who will hazard a guess as to what the Ireland of 2020 will be like?’
    • ‘I would hazard the view that Shreshtha's recent oil paintings are among the most important works he has produced in his career.’
    • ‘Some were hazarding a guess that perhaps there had been an accident or breakdown, but no one knew for sure.’
    • ‘No respectable economist would hazard growth projections for any longer time frame than a decade.’
    • ‘No one's even hazarding a guess on the loss of life or the extent of the damage.’
    • ‘I'm lucky enough to have internet access, although I'd hazard a guess that thousands haven't, particularly the elderly.’
    venture, put forward, proffer, advance, volunteer
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  • 2Put (something) at risk of being lost.

    ‘the cargo business is too risky to hazard money on’
    • ‘I figured I'd force myself to take risks, hazard extra dangers, go where reporters weren't.’
    • ‘Washington drew the line at hazarding the lives of U.S. pilots by ordering low-level attacks.’
    • ‘You hazard your good name and very nearly ruin the reputation of others.’
    • ‘I'll hazard a wager: no one will ever turn up with thirty-year-old originals.’
    • ‘The shocking discovery of discarded glue bags raises the frightening spectre of youngsters hazarding their lives in search of cheap thrills.’
    • ‘I would hazard a bet that hardly anyone knew or cared what the creators said.’
    • ‘We should avoid the mistake of hazarding our national transport systems again.’
    • ‘In order to achieve a world record and generate a stunning effect, we defy great risks, even hazarding our lives.’
    risk, put at risk, jeopardize, chance, gamble, stake, bet, take a chance with
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Middle English (in hazard (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’.