I. haz ‧ ard 1 /ˈhæzəd $ -ərd/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: hasard 'game of chance played with dice' , from Arabic az-zahr 'the chance' ]
1 . something that may be dangerous, or cause accidents or problems
Polluted water sources are a hazard to wildlife.
That pile of rubbish is a fire hazard (=something that is likely to cause a fire) .
the health hazard posed by lead in petrol
2 . a risk that cannot be avoided
the hazards of something
the economic hazards of running a small farm
occupational hazard (=a danger that exists in a job)
Divorce seems to be an occupational hazard for politicians.
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■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + hazard
▪ a health hazard
The rubbish needs to be removed before it becomes a health hazard.
▪ a fire hazard
The unoccupied building was declared a fire hazard.
▪ a safety hazard
Protesters claim that the nuclear reactor is a safety hazard.
▪ a traffic hazard
Cars parked in the wrong places can cause a traffic hazard.
▪ a natural hazard (=a hazard caused by nature)
One of the most widespread natural hazards is flooding.
▪ an environmental hazard (=a danger or problem in the environment)
Oil from the tanker caused an environmental hazard.
▪ a serious/major hazard
Lead pipes are a serious hazard to health.
▪ a potential hazard
Microwave ovens are a potential hazard if not used properly.
▪ cause/create a hazard
There was concern that overhead power lines could cause a health hazard.
▪ pose a hazard (=be a possible hazard)
It was not known whether radiation from the weapons posed any hazard to soldiers.
▪ eliminate a hazard (=get rid of a hazard)
They took steps to eliminate all potential fire hazards.
▪ reduce a hazard
He led the campaign to recognize and reduce the hazard from radiation in our environment.
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▪ risk the chance that something bad may happen:
Smoking greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.
▪ threat the possibility that something very bad will happen:
the only way to reduce the threat of nuclear war
▪ hazard something that may be dangerous or cause accidents or problems:
natural hazards like avalanches
II. hazard 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
1 . to say something that is only a suggestion or guess and that might not be correct:
$50,000? I don’t know. I’m only hazarding a guess.
2 . formal to risk losing your money, property etc in an attempt to gain something