risk

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at (one's) own risk

Done with the foreknowledge or forewarning that there is implied risk or danger which one must accept as one's own responsibility. When you choose to gamble, you do so at your own risk.
See also: own, risk

calculated risk

A risky action that has been carefully considered beforehand, in which the chance or likelihood of a beneficial outcome outweighs the risk or cost of failure. We decided to take the calculated risk of going to trial, rather than settling out of court.
See also: calculated, risk

take a risk

To try to do something for which there is a high probability of a negative or unfortunate outcome. I'm taking a real risk hiring this guy, so you had better be right about him. You're never going to find real success unless you're willing to take a risk now and then.
See also: risk, take

at risk

1. In danger. Well, when you're involved in a pyramid scheme, you're at risk for losing a lot of money. Because I have poor vision, I'm worried that my daughter is at risk for it too.
2. Responsible for a cost or expense. If you sign this contract, you'll be at risk for a lot of fees.
See also: risk

take a chance

To try to do something that has a high probability of having a negative or unfortunate outcome. I'm taking a real chance hiring this guy, so you had better be right about him. You're never going to find real success unless you're willing to take a chance now and then.
See also: chance, take

risk life and limb

To do something that might cause severe injury or death. Today we pay our respects to the brave men and women who risk life and limb every day to keep our country safe. I'm sure it's thrilling, but I'd rather not risk life and limb just for a bit of an adrenaline rush.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

risk (one's) neck

To do something that might cause severe injury or death. Today we pay our respects to the brave men and women who risk their necks every day to keep our country safe. I'm sure it's thrilling, but I'd rather not risk my neck just for a bit of an adrenaline rush.
See also: neck, risk

*at risk

in a situation where there is risk or hazard; in danger. (*Typically: be ~; put someone or something ~.) I refuse to put my family's welfare at risk by quitting my job. Your whole future is at risk if you don't stop smoking.
See also: risk

risk of rain

 and risk of showers; risk of thunder(-storms)
a chance of precipitation. (Used only in weather forecasting. There is no "risk" of hazard or injury involved.) And for tomorrow, there is a slight risk of showers in the morning. There is a 50 percent risk of rain tonight.
See also: of, rain, risk

risk one's neck (to do something)

Fig. to accept the risk of physical harm in order to accomplish something. Look at that traffic! I refuse to risk my neck just to cross the street to buy a paper. I refuse to risk my neck at all.
See also: neck, risk

risk something on someone or something

to chance losing something on someone or something. I wouldn't risk any money on him. He's a poor credit risk. Don't risk your life on his being there to help you.
See also: on, risk

run a risk (of something)

 and run the risk (of something)
to take a chance that something (bad) will happen. I don't want to run the risk of losing my job. Don't worry. You won't have to run a risk.
See also: risk, run

run the risk

(of something) Go to run a risk (of something).
See also: risk, run

take a chance

 and take a risk
to try something where failure or bad fortune is likely. Come on, take a chance. You may lose, but it's worth trying. I'm not reckless, but I don't mind taking a risk now and then.
See also: chance, take

at risk

1. In danger, as in Their house's location on the San Andreas Fault puts them at risk in the next major earthquake . [c. 1900]
2. Legally responsible to pay for loss or damage, as in If he can't keep up with the insurance premiums, he is at risk for any liability claims on the property . [Late 1700s]
See also: risk

calculated risk

A chance taken after careful estimation of the probable outcome, as in Taking their dispute to arbitration was definitely a calculated risk. This term uses calculated in the sense of "planned with forethought," a usage from the mid-1800s. Its pairing with risk dates from World War II, when the chances for losing bombers were taken into account before a bombing mission was sent out. After the war the term was transferred to other undertakings where taking a chance to succeed had to be weighed against the costs of failure.
See also: calculated, risk

risk life and limb

Also, risk one's neck. Take dangerous chances, as in There he was on the roof, risking life and limb to rescue the kitten, or I don't want to risk my neck contradicting him. The first hyperbolic expression, dating from the early 1600s, doesn't make sense, since if one loses one's life one also loses the use of one's limbs. The variant, used for risky undertakings of all kinds, physical and nonphysical, presumably alludes to being hanged or beheaded. Also see stick one's neck out.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

run a risk

Also, run the risk. Be subjected to danger, as in Hiding anything from customs means running a risk that you'll be caught, or Without the right postage and address, this package runs the risk of being lost. [Mid-1600s]
See also: risk, run

take a chance

Risk something, gamble, as in I'll take a chance that he'll be on the next plane. [c. 1900]
See also: chance, take

risk life and limb

If you risk life and limb, you do something very dangerous that may cause you to die or be seriously injured. He is not prepared to risk life and limb on this dangerous track to win the title. She gets a thrill risking life and limb by leaping off cliffs and mountains.
See also: and, life, limb, risk

risk your neck

If you risk your neck, you do something dangerous which could cause you to die or be injured. I wasn't going to risk my neck in fast-flowing water to rescue a stupid cat. I won't have him risking his neck on that motorcycle.
See also: neck, risk

at risk

In an endangered state, especially from lack of proper care: unsupervised children who are at risk of dropping out of school.
See also: risk
References in classic literature ?
The real truth, because you know Andrew is risking so much doing this against his father's will that I should like to know.
And to think that I was risking death to return to him purely from a sense of duty and affection!
Returning to the body, he lifted it to his shoulder, and risking all on a quick sally, ran swiftly across the narrow opening which separated the prisoner's tent from that of the dead man.
As she debated the wisdom of risking disturbing the child's slumber by lifting the blanket that now protected its face from the sun, she noted that the cook conversed with the chief in the language of the Negro.
They would find her flier missing and they would guess that somewhere in the path of the storm it lay a wrecked and tangled mass upon her dead body, and then brave men would go out in search of her, risking their lives; and that lives would be lost in the search, she knew, for she realized now that never in her life-time had such a tempest raged upon Barsoom.
Being an indifferent fisherman, my enthusiasm for this form of sport soon waned; yet in the absence of other forms of recreation I was now risking my life in an entirely inadequate boat off Cape Farewell at the southernmost extremity of Greenland.
Promise me that you will but turn him over to Captain Dufranne, and let the law take its course--the beast is not worth risking our happiness for.