Definition of odds in English:


plural noun

  • 1The ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way.

    ‘the bookies are offering odds of 8-1’
    ‘it is possible for the race to be won at very long odds’
    • ‘Before play, bookmakers were quoting odds of 33-1 on Bangladesh and 1-500 Australia.’
    • ‘But the odds of winning the jackpot on the lottery are still 1,000 times better, at one in nearly 14m.’
    • ‘As I explained in this article, the odds of winning the Jackpot are almost fourteen million to one.’
    • ‘Bookmakers are offering odds of 500-1 that Rooney will receive a knighthood after his explosive Reds debut.’
    • ‘Many people who play the lottery tend to forget about, or pay scant attention to, the odds of winning.’
    • ‘As illustrated by the odds ratios, the odds of rearrest for traditionally adjudicated offenders are two times those of drug court participants.’
    • ‘But before gamblers get too excited, they should remember that the odds of winning the jackpot are nearly one in 14m.’
    • ‘Malcolm confirms that the odds of winning big lottery and pokie payouts are ‘in the millions to one’.’
    • ‘However, if you have the maximum £30,000 invested, the odds of winning the jackpot fall to around 1 in 770,000 per draw.’
    • ‘Use of the Whipple Bumper is expected to reduce the odds of a collision to one in ten.’
    • ‘No self-respecting gambler would play odds of 14 million to one.’
    • ‘Having opened at the prohibitive odds of 4/6 she was expected to enjoy a fairly comfortable success.’
    • ‘NSW Lotteries said the odds of buying a single winning ticket in the $2 jackpot were one in 11.8 million.’
    • ‘He also liked the bookmaker's odds of 7/2 for nobody to win a Grand Slam this time around.’
    • ‘Ms Thompson said Mr Doran was ‘absolutely right’ to say that the odds of winning the jackpot were 14 million to one.’
    • ‘Bookmakers are quoting long odds of 16-1 on a Tory victory; but 5-1 on a hung parliament.’
    • ‘You could have had odds of 3-1 from Ladbrookes on Tabby to win before the first live heat, but now those odds have shortened even more.’
    • ‘Differences are reported as odds ratios and based on the statistic.’
    • ‘At Stroud bookmakers in Hull he claimed to have won big money after staking £1.50 on an Irish Lottery game at incredible odds of 6,561-1.’
    • ‘At odds of 16-1, and with White displaying splendid form throughout the first five days of action, it began to look like very prescient gambling.’
    1. 1.1The chances or likelihood of something happening or being the case.
      ‘the odds are that he is no longer alive’
      ‘the odds against this ever happening are high’
      • ‘It will cost a lot of money, and the odds are that it won't work, right?’
      • ‘One of my dazed wits tried to tell me the odds against this actually happening.’
      • ‘With what followed, the golfing odds may be against either claiming an unlikely victory today, but these were welcome returns to form nonetheless.’
      • ‘But odds are that it won't undo all of today's rain-induced vulnerability.’
      • ‘Ms. Cohen herself acknowledges the odds against her.’
      • ‘It is a story of determination over great odds, strokes of luck and relentless love.’
      • ‘In another, the odds against chance were calculated to be 10 11 to 1.’
      • ‘Therefore, the odds are that most of them will take the chance of bringing it into court.’
      • ‘Although the odds against creating such an effective organization to represent taxpaying interests seem steep, the numbers give hope.’
      • ‘But in a one-typesetter town, the odds are that the local type shop will offer mainly ITC faces.’
      • ‘If this does not happen the odds are that the Mountmellick TD could be on his way out of Leinster House.’
      • ‘And when that happened the odds are that we would lose both the building and the local provision of services.’
      • ‘But to take this route as an author of creative fiction would seem to be the clearest way to stack the odds against the novel's success.’
      • ‘Consequently, if you do not already manage someone who is handicapped, the odds are increasing that some day you will.’
      • ‘I mentioned that the odds against him winning, according to Centrebet, were 46 to 1.’
      • ‘But if a paper decides to run an article like this, the odds are that it will actually hit the streets, with punishment coming after the fact.’
      • ‘To say we've beaten the odds against success is an understatement.’
      • ‘Finally, according to Freeman, the odds against all three of these statistical anomalies occurring together are 250 million to one.’
      • ‘If you are female, the odds are that you are more attractive than you think, so try flirting with some better-looking men.’
      • ‘But the odds are that hostility will get even worse.’
      likelihood, probability, chances, chance, balance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Superiority in strength, power, or resources; advantage.
      ‘she clung to the lead against all the odds’
      ‘the odds were overwhelmingly in favor of the banks rather than the customer’
      • ‘In some cases some succeeded against all the odds.’
      • ‘You could say the same about director Bille Woodruff's last movie, Honey, which against all the odds, I totally loved.’
      • ‘As the characters struggle to be human against all the odds the play reflects the struggle that all humans face in life.’
      • ‘He fought that election against all the odds and was within a half percent of pulling off a spectacular victory.’
      • ‘Against all the odds, Hu has found happiness in Shenzhen - and not just in materialistic terms.’
      • ‘This was a massive point won by Wanderers against all the odds and it may prove absolutely vital in the context of the season as a whole.’
      • ‘Fair play to them both, they took on what was a mountainous challenge and now against all the odds have emerged victorious.’
      • ‘Against all the odds the motion was passed but it later emerged that at the time of the voting most of the delegates were at Mass.’
      • ‘Against all the odds an unbeaten home record had been preserved, while in turn Cork City had held on to their unbeaten away record.’
      • ‘Three months later, against all the odds, Owain was battling on and was finally allowed home - just in time for Mother's Day!’
      • ‘He reminded the congregation of the Pioneer Movement which against all the odds, had an increased membership of 15,000 last year.’
      • ‘But that didn't surprise me, because there's a side to Annabelle which is about holding out against all the odds.’
      • ‘He had a great fighting spirit to keep going against all the odds.’
      • ‘Against all the odds Keble extended their lead to 17-3 and, despite a mini-revival from Brasenose they held on to this advantage at half time.’
      • ‘He chose Duan Qirui, who thus, on 24 November 1924, came back to power against all the odds.’
      • ‘The moral is if these guys could do it, against all the odds, so could you.’
      • ‘Jimmy Carter, against all the odds, won the Democratic Nomination for the 1976 American presidential election.’
      • ‘Tonight I shall raise my glass to all those nameless individuals that against all the odds bring happiness and prosperity to this land of smiles.’
      • ‘He overcame these and tackled his job with enthusiasm and flair that got results against all the odds.’
      • ‘We had a bit of luck but we had a big heart and a lot of belief and sometimes that can achieve things against all the odds.’
      advantage, lead, edge, superiority, supremacy, ascendancy
      View synonyms


Early 16th century: apparently the plural of the obsolete noun odd odd number or odd person.