RISK, hazard, chance of danger or loss, especially the chance of loss to property or goods which an insurance company undertakes to make good to the insurer in return for the recurrent payment of a sum called the premium (see INSURANCE). The word appears late in English, and in the 17th century in the Fr. form risque or It. risco or risgo, for risico, risigo; cf. Sp. riesgo. The Med. Lat. riscus, rischium, and risicum are found, according to Du Cange (Gloss., qq.v.), as early as the 13th century. Skeat (Etym. Dict., 1910) accepts Diez's suggestion that the word is originally a sailor's term, and is to be referred to Sp. risco, a steep rock, from Lat. resecare, to cut back, shut off; thus Sp. arriesgar, to run into danger, means literally "to go against a rock."
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