When things are in jeopardy, they're in a dangerous situation that could go well, but it could just as easily go very badly. And when you jeopardize something, you put it in danger, or put it at risk: you give it about a fifty-fifty chance of turning out okay vs. turning out disastrously.
The words "jeopardy" and "jeopardize" have Latin bits that literally mean "an (equally) divided game." If you're playing a game with someone, and the game is evenly divided, with neither of you ahead and neither behind, then you're in a state of risk and uncertainty, or even danger. You might win, but you're just as likely to lose.
That's why we talk about things being in jeopardy: in a state of risk, uncertainty, or danger, where it's anybody's game, so to speak.
Here are some examples! Smoking cigarettes will jeopardize your health: put it in severe danger. Riding a bike or a motorcycle with no helmet will jeopardize your safety: you might survive a crash, or you might not. Lying to a friend, or stealing from a friend, will jeopardize the friendship: it might survive, or it might not. If you go to college on a scholarship, but you never study and always skip class, you're jeopardizing your scholarship: you might lose it.
A teenager who robs a store at gunpoint has jeopardized his future, and even jeopardized his freedom. His future is in jeopardy: who wants to hire a violent criminal? And his freedom is in jeopardy: he might go to jail.
When Jumi Bello wrote a story by plagiarizing it—that is, by copying it from other people's writing—she jeopardized her reputation, and her career as a writer. Her reputation is in jeopardy, and so is her career. Will they be okay? Maybe. Maybe not.
A bad choice or a lazy effort could jeopardize your grades, your plans, your goals, your chances or opportunities, or your whole mission in life.
Players on Jeopardy! compete to give correct answers and earn the most money. Why is the show called Jeopardy!? Well, remember, the word literally means "an evenly divided game." And all three players are quick thinkers with extensive knowledge. So it's a tight, evenly-matched game. And a lot of fun to watch!
Make a flash card:
You can write your own definition and choose your own picture, or copy mine.
a situation full of risk and danger
Write your own sentence!
You can use either of the two ideas I'll suggest, or you can invent your own. Include as much detail as you can!
(Source) Write a sentence with the word JEOPARDY or JEOPARDIZE:
Remember: to jeopardize something, or to put something in jeopardy, is to make an unwise choice that puts it in severe danger.
Idea 1: "(Doing something wild, crazy, or dangerous) can jeopardize (your health, your safety, your eyesight, or any other important, delicate thing)."
Idea 2: "When (someone) (did something illegal or against the rules), (he or she) jeopardized (his or her reputation, career, or future)."
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