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Definition of "odds" []

  • A certain number of points given beforehand to a weaker side in a contest to equalize the chances of all participants. (noun-plural)
  • The ratio of the probability of an event's occurring to the probability of its not occurring. (noun-plural)
  • 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. (noun-plural)
  • Games A ratio expressing the amount by which the stake of one bettor differs from that of an opposing bettor. (noun-plural)
  • An amount or a degree by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another: won the contest by considerable odds. (noun-plural)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "odds" in a sentence
  • "Oliver's greatest competition for the Christmas number one spot is the Guinness Book of World Records, according to William Hill, which is giving the title odds of 11/2 to top the charts."
  • "Bookmakers have now slashed his title odds from 400/1 to 28/1."
  • "A desire to beat the odds is at the core of No Horizon Is So Far, as Arnesen and Bancroft trace the roots of why they came to Antarctica to risk frostbite, injury, and death on a daily basis."