risk - definition and synonyms


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  1. [countable/uncountable] the possibility that something unpleasant or dangerous might happen

    Most major changes involve some risk.

    risk of:

    The risk of a major nuclear accident must be taken seriously.

    the risk of doing something:

    The risk of developing lung cancer from smoking is a serious one.

    risk (that):

    There is no risk that the virus can be transferred from patient to doctor.

    risk to:

    The risks to consumers from these products need to be fully analysed.

    reduce/increase the risk of something:

    You can reduce the risk of heart disease by exercising regularly.

    an element of risk (=some risk):

    All outdoor activities carry an element of risk.

    worth the risk:

    We might get away with it, but it isn’t really worth the risk.

    1. a.
      [countable] someone or something that is likely to be a danger or problem in the future
      risk to:

      The council says the waste is not a risk to the public.

      health risk (=something that could be a danger to people’s health):

      Some of these restaurants are a clear health risk to diners.

      fire risk (=something that could cause a fire):

      All these books and papers are a real fire risk.

      pose a risk (to someone) (=be a risk):

      Such prisoners pose no real risk to the public.