1. A certain number of points given beforehand to a weaker side in a contest to equalize the chances of all participants.
a. The ratio of the probability of an event's occurring to the probability of its not occurring.
b. The likelihood of the occurrence of one thing rather than the occurrence of another thing, as in a contest: The odds are that she will get the nomination on the first ballot.
3. Games A ratio expressing the amount by which the stake of one bettor differs from that of an opposing bettor.
4. An amount or degree by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another: won the contest by considerable odds.
In disagreement; in conflict: "The artist and the self-critic ... are, with a few felicitous exceptions, forever at odds" (Joyce Carol Oates).
by all odds
In every possible way; unquestionably: By all odds it is the best film of the year.
[Pl. of ODD.]
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.