a. A chance of being injured or harmed: Space travel is full of hazards.
b. Risk or danger: a high degree of hazard.
2. A possible source of danger: This room is a fire hazard.
3. Games A game played with dice that is a forerunner of craps and was especially popular in England in the 1600s and 1700s.
4. Sports An obstacle, such as a sand trap, found on a golf course.
5. Archaic Chance or an accident.
tr.v. haz·ard·ed, haz·ard·ing, haz·ards
1. To expose to danger or risk. See Synonyms at endanger.
a. To venture (something): hazard a guess.
b. To express at the risk of denial, criticism, or censure: "The wise young captain ... hazarded to the lieutenant-colonel that the enemy's infantry would probably soon attack the hill" (Stephen Crane).
[Middle English hasard, a kind of dice game, from Old French, from Old Spanish azar, unlucky throw of the dice, chance, possibly from Arabic az-zahr, the die : al-, the + zahr, die (possibly from zahr, flowers (the losing sides of some medieval dice perhaps being decorated with images of flowers), from zahara, to shine, be radiant; see zhr in the Appendix of Semitic roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.