Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “risk”

risk

noun     /rɪsk/
[U] the possibility that something bad or dangerous will happen: Heavy reliance upon one client is not without risk when building up a practice.increase/reduce the risk of sth The agency is undertaking an urgent program to reduce the risk of runway collision.
[C] something bad that might happen: Our biggest risk is identity theft. I think that people who come here illegally know the risks.
[C or U] FINANCE the possibility that an investment will lose money: Before you invest in the Fund you should carefully evaluate the risks. This stock is loaded with risk. high/low/medium riskcarry (a) risk To invest in just one stock carries a high risk.offset (a) risk Banks carry out several transactions to offset risk.
[C or U] INSURANCE the possibility that something will be harmed, damaged, or lost: high/low riskinsure against a risk Anyone who wants to insure against the risk of illness or accident can do so at a price.
[C] INSURANCE, BANKING a person or business that may or may not be safe to insure or lend money to: a bad/good risk In terms of insurance eligibility, the couple constituted a bad risk.
at risk in danger: at risk of sth A spokeswoman last night admitted 13 people were at risk of redundancy.at risk of doing sth With its stock price severely depressed, the company was at risk of being a target for private equity investors.
at your own risk if you do something at your own risk, you do it although you know you might get harmed or lose something: Please note that you download and install these programs entirely at your own risk.
bear a risk to be responsible for or accept the risk involved in something: The two sides couldn't agree on how to pay for the plant and who would bear the most financial risk in the agreement. With traditional pensions the employer bears the risks and pays the benefits.
put sb/sth at risk to put someone or something in a situation where they could be in danger: Why put capital at significant risk for a return which is no higher than the return on government bonds?
run a risk to do something that might be harmful or dangerous: You're running a big risk if oil prices drop sharply.run the risk of doing sth Few IFAs are prepared to run the risk of advising a client to switch out of equities and into bonds and cash in case they get their timing wrong.
spread your risk(s) FINANCE to reduce the chance of losing money by making several different types of investments: While some shares in the fund may be falling in price, others could be rising, helping to spread your risk. Unit trusts let small investors spread their risks by investing in a wide range of gilts.
take a risk to do something that might be harmful or dangerous: The company thrived after taking a risk and selling its TV business.take the risk of doing sth Over the past three months, investors who have taken the risk of investing in smaller companies have had a rough ride.
→ See also actuarial risk, against all risks, all-risks, assigned risk, at-risk, buyer's risk, calculated risk, carrier's risk, country risk, credit risk, currency risk, downside risk, exchange risk, execution risk, foreign currency risk, global risk, high-risk, inflation risk, insurance risk, inventory risk, investment risk, liquidity risk, low-risk, market liquidity risk, owner's risk, sovereign risk, systematic risk, uninsurable risk
(Definition of risk noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of risk

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Duty, obligation and responsibility, but you might be interested in these topics from the Causing and forcing topic area:

Definitions of “risk” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beneficiary

a person or group who receives money, advantages, etc. as a result of something else

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More