odds


odds

noun (usually used with a plural verb)

  1. the probability that something is so, will occur, or is more likely to occur than something else: The odds are that it will rain today.
  2. the ratio of probability that something is so, will occur, or is more likely to occur than something else.
  3. this ratio used as the basis of a bet; the ratio by which the bet of one party to a wager exceeds that of the other, granted by one of two betting opponents to equalize the chances favoring one of them: The odds are two-to-one that it won’t rain today.
  4. an equalizing allowance, as that given the weaker person or team in a contest; handicap.
  5. an advantage or degree of superiority on the side of two contending parties; a difference favoring one of two contestants.
  6. an amount or degree by which one thing is better or worse than another.

Idioms

  1. at odds, at variance; in disagreement: They were usually at odds over political issues.
  2. by all odds, in every respect; by far; undoubtedly: She is by all odds the brightest child in the family.Also by long odds, by odds.

adjective, odd·er, odd·est.

  1. differing in nature from what is ordinary, usual, or expected: an odd choice.
  2. singular or peculiar in a strange or eccentric way: an odd person; odd manners.
  3. fantastic; bizarre: Her taste in clothing was rather odd.
  4. leaving a remainder of 1 when divided by 2, as a number (opposed to even): Numbers like 3, 15, and 181 are odd numbers.
  5. more or less, especially a little more (used in combination with a round number): I owe three hundred-odd dollars.
  6. being a small amount in addition to what is counted or specified: I have five gross and a few odd dozens.
  7. being part of a pair, set, or series of which the rest is lacking: an odd glove.
  8. remaining after all others are paired, grouped, or divided into equal numbers or parts: Everybody gets two hamburgers and I get the odd one.
  9. left over after all others are used, consumed, etc.
  10. (of a pair) not matching: Do you know you’re wearing an odd pair of socks?
  11. not forming part of any particular group, set, or class: to pick up odd bits of information.
  12. not regular, usual, or full-time; occasional; casual: odd jobs.
  13. out-of-the-way; secluded: a tour to the odd parts of the Far East.
  14. Mathematics. (of a function) having a sign that changes when the sign of each independent variable is changed at the same time.

noun

  1. something that is odd.
  2. Golf.
    1. a stroke more than the opponent has played.
    2. British.a stroke taken from a player’s total score for a hole in order to give him or her odds.

pl n

  1. (foll by on or against) the probability, expressed as a ratio, that a certain event will take placethe odds against the outsider are a hundred to one
  2. the amount, expressed as a ratio, by which the wager of one better is greater than that of anotherhe was offering odds of five to one
  3. the likelihood that a certain state of affairs will be found to be sothe odds are that he is drunk
  4. the chances or likelihood of success in a certain undertakingtheir odds were very poor after it rained
  5. an equalizing allowance, esp one given to a weaker side in a contest
  6. the advantage that one contender is judged to have over anotherthe odds are on my team
  7. British a significant difference (esp in the phrase it makes no odds)
  8. at odds
    1. on bad terms
    2. appearing not to correspond or matchthe silvery hair was at odds with her youthful shape
  9. give odds or lay odds to offer a bet with favourable odds
  10. take odds to accept such a bet
  11. over the odds
    1. more than is expected, necessary, etche got two pounds over the odds for this job
    2. unfair or excessive
  12. what’s the odds? British informal what difference does it make?

adjective

  1. unusual or peculiar in appearance, character, etc
  2. occasional, incidental, or randomodd jobs
  3. leftover or additionalodd bits of wool
    1. not divisible by two
    2. represented or indicated by a number that is not divisible by twographs are on odd pages Compare even 1 (def. 7)
  4. being part of a matched pair or set when the other or others are missingan odd sock; odd volumes
  5. (in combination) used to designate an indefinite quantity more than the quantity specified in round numbersfifty-odd pounds
  6. out-of-the-way or secludedodd corners
  7. maths (of a function) changing sign but not absolute value when the sign of the independent variable is changed, as in y=x³See even 1 (def. 13)
  8. odd man out a person or thing excluded from others forming a group, unit, etc

noun

  1. golf
    1. one stroke more than the score of one’s opponent
    2. an advantage or handicap of one stroke added to or taken away from a player’s score
  2. a thing or person that is odd in sequence or number

n.in wagering sense, found first in Shakespeare (“2 Henry IV,” 1597), probably from earlier sense of “amount by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another” (1540s), from odd (q.v.), though the sense evolution is uncertain. Until 19c. treated as a singular, though obviously a plural (cf. news). adj.c.1300, “constituting a unit in excess of an even number,” from Old Norse oddi “third or additional number,” as in odda-maðr “third man, odd man (who gives the casting vote),” odda-tala “odd number.” The literal meaning of Old Norse oddi is “point of land, angle” (related via notion of “triangle” to oddr “point of a weapon”); from Proto-Germanic *uzdaz “pointed upward” (cf. Old English ord “point of a weapon, spear, source, beginning,” Old Frisian ord “point, place,” Dutch oord “place, region,” Old High German ort “point, angle,” German Ort “place”), from PIE *uzdho- (cf. Lithuanian us-nis “thistle”). None of the other languages, however, shows the Old Norse development from “point” to “third number.” Used from late 14c. to indicate a surplus over any given sum. Sense of “strange, peculiar” first attested 1580s from notion of “odd one out, unpaired one of three” (attested earlier, c.1400, as “singular” in a positive sense of “renowned, rare, choice”). Odd job (c.1770) is so called from notion of “not regular.” Odd lot “incomplete or random set” is from 1897. The international order of Odd Fellows began as local social clubs in England, late 18c., with Masonic-type trappings; formally organized 1813 in Manchester.

  1. Divisible by 2 with a remainder of 1, such as 17 or -103.

In addition to the idioms beginning with odds

  • odds and ends
  • odds are, the
  • also see:

  • against all odds
  • at odds
  • by all odds
  • lay odds
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