Date: 1600-1700
Language: French
Origin: risque, from Italian risco


1 noun
risk1 S2 W1
1 [uncountable and countable] the possibility that something bad, unpleasant, or dangerous may happen [= danger; ↪ gamble, chance]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
risk (that) reduce/minimize the risk of something increase the risk of something carry/pose a risk not be worth the risk high/low risk increased/reduced risk (=a higher or lower risk than usual) a real risk a calculated risk (=a risk you think will have a good result) an element of risk (=some risk, but not much) the risks involved in/associated with something risk factor the benefits outweigh the risks
risk of
the risk of serious injury
There is a risk that the crisis may spread further.
risk to
There is no risk to public health.
Healthy eating can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
The birds could pose a serious health risk for people who eat them.
I never walk home alone at night - it's not worth the risk.
Building work has a high risk of accident.
a low-risk group for lung cancer
an increased risk of skin cancer
things that pose a real risk to the future of mankind
It was a calculated risk to appoint a man without management experience to such a senior post.
There's an element of risk in any kind of investment.
the risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome
The benefits to patients who are taking the drug far outweigh the risks.

take a risk

to decide to do something even though you know it may have bad results:
Isn't he taking a bit of a risk in coming here?
take the risk of doing something
I couldn't take the risk of leaving him alone even for a short time.
Many people are willing to take that risk in order to protect their families.
3 [countable] something or someone that is likely to cause harm or danger
risk to
Polluted water supplies are a risk to public health.
They didn't pose a significant risk to safety.
Meat from the infected animals is regarded as a serious health risk (=something likely to harm people's health).
The tyre dump is a major fire risk (=something that could cause a dangerous fire).
She's becoming a security risk (=someone who may tell important secrets to an enemy).

at risk

in a situation where you may be harmed:
We must stop these rumours; the firm's reputation is at risk.
at risk from
Women are more at risk from the harmful effects of alcohol than men.
at risk of
Their children are also at high risk of developing the disease.
That would mean putting other children at risk.

run a risk

to be in a situation where there is a possibility that something bad could happen to you
run the risk of doing something
Anyone travelling without a passport runs the risk of being arrested.

at the risk of doing something

used when you think that what you are going to say or do may have a bad result, may offend or annoy people etc:
At the risk of sounding stupid, can I ask a question?
Will they go ahead with their plans, even at the risk of offending the Americans?

at your own risk

if you do something at your own risk, you do it when you understand the possible dangers and have been warned about them:
You can use it, but it's at your own risk.
All personal belongings are left at the owner's risk.
8 [countable]BFI a person or business judged according to the danger involved in giving them insurance or lending them money
good/bad/poor risk
Drivers under 21 are regarded as poor risks by insurance companies.

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