Meaning of odds in English:


Pronunciation /ɒdz/

See synonyms for odds

Translate odds into Spanish

plural noun

  • 1The ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way.

    ‘Nicer is starting at odds of 8-1’
    • ‘it is possible for the race to be won at very long odds’
    • ‘At odds of 16-1, and with White displaying splendid form throughout the first five days of action, it began to look like very prescient gambling.’
    • ‘Use of the Whipple Bumper is expected to reduce the odds of a collision to one in ten.’
    • ‘As illustrated by the odds ratios, the odds of rearrest for traditionally adjudicated offenders are two times those of drug court participants.’
    • ‘Many people who play the lottery tend to forget about, or pay scant attention to, the odds of winning.’
    • ‘But before gamblers get too excited, they should remember that the odds of winning the jackpot are nearly one in 14m.’
    • ‘You could have had odds of 3-1 from Ladbrookes on Tabby to win before the first live heat, but now those odds have shortened even more.’
    • ‘NSW Lotteries said the odds of buying a single winning ticket in the $2 jackpot were one in 11.8 million.’
    • ‘But the odds of winning the jackpot on the lottery are still 1,000 times better, at one in nearly 14m.’
    • ‘At Stroud bookmakers in Hull he claimed to have won big money after staking £1.50 on an Irish Lottery game at incredible odds of 6,561-1.’
    • ‘Malcolm confirms that the odds of winning big lottery and pokie payouts are ‘in the millions to one’.’
    • ‘However, if you have the maximum £30,000 invested, the odds of winning the jackpot fall to around 1 in 770,000 per draw.’
    • ‘Bookmakers are offering odds of 500-1 that Rooney will receive a knighthood after his explosive Reds debut.’
    • ‘Ms Thompson said Mr Doran was ‘absolutely right’ to say that the odds of winning the jackpot were 14 million to one.’
    • ‘Differences are reported as odds ratios and based on the statistic.’
    • ‘As I explained in this article, the odds of winning the Jackpot are almost fourteen million to one.’
    • ‘Before play, bookmakers were quoting odds of 33-1 on Bangladesh and 1-500 Australia.’
    • ‘He also liked the bookmaker's odds of 7/2 for nobody to win a Grand Slam this time around.’
    • ‘Bookmakers are quoting long odds of 16-1 on a Tory victory; but 5-1 on a hung parliament.’
    • ‘Having opened at the prohibitive odds of 4/6 she was expected to enjoy a fairly comfortable success.’
    • ‘No self-respecting gambler would play odds of 14 million to one.’
    1. 1.1usually the oddsThe chances or likelihood of something happening or being the case.
      ‘ the odds are that he is no longer alive’
      • ‘ the odds against this ever happening are high’
      • ‘In another, the odds against chance were calculated to be 10 11 to 1.’
      • ‘If this does not happen the odds are that the Mountmellick TD could be on his way out of Leinster House.’
      • ‘And when that happened the odds are that we would lose both the building and the local provision of services.’
      • ‘One of my dazed wits tried to tell me the odds against this actually happening.’
      • ‘Therefore, the odds are that most of them will take the chance of bringing it into court.’
      • ‘Finally, according to Freeman, the odds against all three of these statistical anomalies occurring together are 250 million to one.’
      • ‘Although the odds against creating such an effective organization to represent taxpaying interests seem steep, the numbers give hope.’
      • ‘But the odds are that hostility will get even worse.’
      • ‘But if a paper decides to run an article like this, the odds are that it will actually hit the streets, with punishment coming after the fact.’
      • ‘Ms. Cohen herself acknowledges the odds against her.’
      • ‘But to take this route as an author of creative fiction would seem to be the clearest way to stack the odds against the novel's success.’
      • ‘But in a one-typesetter town, the odds are that the local type shop will offer mainly ITC faces.’
      • ‘I mentioned that the odds against him winning, according to Centrebet, were 46 to 1.’
      • ‘If you are female, the odds are that you are more attractive than you think, so try flirting with some better-looking men.’
      • ‘To say we've beaten the odds against success is an understatement.’
      • ‘It will cost a lot of money, and the odds are that it won't work, right?’
      • ‘It is a story of determination over great odds, strokes of luck and relentless love.’
      • ‘With what followed, the golfing odds may be against either claiming an unlikely victory today, but these were welcome returns to form nonetheless.’
      • ‘But odds are that it won't undo all of today's rain-induced vulnerability.’
      likelihood, probability, chances, chance, balance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2usually the oddsThe balance of advantage; superiority in strength, power, or resources.
      ‘she clung to the lead against all the odds’
      • ‘ the odds were overwhelmingly in favour of the banks rather than the customer’
      • ‘He chose Duan Qirui, who thus, on 24 November 1924, came back to power against all the odds.’
      • ‘Fair play to them both, they took on what was a mountainous challenge and now against all the odds have emerged victorious.’
      • ‘Against all the odds Keble extended their lead to 17-3 and, despite a mini-revival from Brasenose they held on to this advantage at half time.’
      • ‘Tonight I shall raise my glass to all those nameless individuals that against all the odds bring happiness and prosperity to this land of smiles.’
      • ‘In some cases some succeeded against all the odds.’
      • ‘Against all the odds the motion was passed but it later emerged that at the time of the voting most of the delegates were at Mass.’
      • ‘This was a massive point won by Wanderers against all the odds and it may prove absolutely vital in the context of the season as a whole.’
      • ‘Jimmy Carter, against all the odds, won the Democratic Nomination for the 1976 American presidential election.’
      • ‘He reminded the congregation of the Pioneer Movement which against all the odds, had an increased membership of 15,000 last year.’
      • ‘You could say the same about director Bille Woodruff's last movie, Honey, which against all the odds, I totally loved.’
      • ‘Against all the odds an unbeaten home record had been preserved, while in turn Cork City had held on to their unbeaten away record.’
      • ‘He had a great fighting spirit to keep going against all the odds.’
      • ‘Against all the odds, Hu has found happiness in Shenzhen - and not just in materialistic terms.’
      • ‘He fought that election against all the odds and was within a half percent of pulling off a spectacular victory.’
      • ‘The moral is if these guys could do it, against all the odds, so could you.’
      • ‘He overcame these and tackled his job with enthusiasm and flair that got results against all the odds.’
      • ‘As the characters struggle to be human against all the odds the play reflects the struggle that all humans face in life.’
      • ‘We had a bit of luck but we had a big heart and a lot of belief and sometimes that can achieve things against all the odds.’
      • ‘Three months later, against all the odds, Owain was battling on and was finally allowed home - just in time for Mother's Day!’
      • ‘But that didn't surprise me, because there's a side to Annabelle which is about holding out against all the odds.’
      advantage, lead, edge, superiority, supremacy, ascendancy
      View synonyms


    at odds
    • In conflict or at variance.

      ‘his behaviour is at odds with the interests of the company’
      • ‘But conflict resolution in recent decades is at odds with the principled approach.’
      • ‘She had felt different and increasingly at odds with her family, in particular her mother Fanny.’
      • ‘That guidance is clearly different from and at odds with the 1972 decision letter.’
      • ‘The architecture demands a kind of display which is at odds with the tone both of the words and of the spirit of the institution.’
      • ‘Service withdrawal seems to be entirely at odds with any claim to professionalism at all.’
      • ‘He was often at odds with the more liberal wing of the church, having opposed the decision to ordain women bishops.’
      • ‘Any other result would have been at odds with the balance of the game.’
      • ‘His conversion to the Nation of Islam years later, she said, was at odds with his Baptist upbringing.’
      • ‘Even more impressively, he did so while obviously at odds with his swing.’
      • ‘The intense angst though felt at odds with the surrounding natural tranquil beauty.’
    by all odds
    North American
    • Certainly.

      ‘By 8: 15 in the morning, when Bob had deposited the last of his magazines on the departmental porter's desk for mailing, he should by all odds have been tired.’
      • ‘Of course, by all odds he should be dead, but he isn't.’
    it makes no odds
    British informal
    • It does not matter.

      • ‘come and see me any time—it makes no odds to me!’
      • ‘I try not to eavesdrop but it makes no odds anyway - his conversation is peppered with indecipherable tycoon-speak references to share prices and dotcoms.’
      • ‘You can make all the money in the world available, but it makes no odds if you haven't got the talent.’
      • ‘Creels or computers, it makes no odds: just different endings to the same old song.’
      • ‘If it succeeds, some remedy is required, and it makes no odds at all whether or not the externality ‘belongs to society’.’


      From an earlier use of odds in the sense ‘difference in advantage or effect’.

    lay odds
    • 1Offer a bet with odds favourable to the other better.

      ‘bookies have refused to give odds on the outcome of today's debate’
      • ‘There has been an average of four Irish-trained winners over the last ten years and bookmaker Paddy Power is giving odds of 7-2 on this happening again.’
      • ‘Paddy Power Bookmakers is presently laying odds of 25/1 against Vintage Tipple winning the Arc.’
      • ‘Since he was now a chess god, he could only find games for money if he gave odds.’
      • ‘And bookmaker William Hill is willing to give odds close to that to anybody wanting to bet on disaster.’
      • ‘If I were laying odds on the division title, it'd be 70 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent.’
      • ‘I'll lay odds you aren't Daljon - and I rarely lose a bet.’
      • ‘Anybody want to lay odds that this is going to get sticky?’
      • ‘It's more like a bookie giving odds on how likely he is to win the match.’
      • ‘How he gave odds to different scenarios was arbitrary, Woker told me.’
      • ‘Lygo is himself being tipped for the job, with Ladbrokes giving odds of 3-1.’
      1. 1.1Be very sure about something.
        ‘I'd lay odds that the person responsible is an insider’
        • ‘I would lay odds that it will begin in the next 48 hours.’
        • ‘One phrase we'll lay odds on you will hear tonight is flip-flop.’
        • ‘And I'll lay odds that it has something to do with the grand opening of the fishery on Saturday.’
        • ‘I'd lay odds, though, that the thief won't be found, although the computer might turn up at some point.’
        • ‘I'd lay odds it has something to do with a certain young vixen.’
        • ‘But they're the wrong face to put on this group, let alone lead it, and I'll lay odds it keeps people away.’
        • ‘I'll lay odds you will see it more often over the next year than you imagine.’
    over the odds
    • Above what is generally considered acceptable, especially for a price.

      ‘you could be paying over the odds for perfume’
      • ‘It may be a challenging task given that rival insurers claim the price paid was over the odds.’
      • ‘I resign myself to paying over the odds, and remind myself that this is still an outrageously low sum.’
      • ‘We already suffer by paying over the odds for Insurance due to excessive and fraudulent claims.’
      • ‘Unless your mortgage is with one of the five cheapest lenders mentioned above, you're probably paying over the odds.’
      • ‘Some analysts fear it could have paid over the odds for the bank - claims which the bank has previously dismissed as ‘nonsense’.’
      • ‘And no venture capitalist wants to pay over the odds.’
      • ‘We'll pay over the odds to distinguish ourselves through what we buy, so the growth opportunities lie in offering personalised cars, suits or holidays.’
      • ‘Consumers could be paying over the odds for extended warranties on household electrical products, the Office of Fair Trading said yesterday.’
      • ‘Occasionally a buyer will nab a bargain - one bike sold for only £10 - but others will sometimes pay over the odds.’
      • ‘Antique furniture, for example, has plummeted in value recently, meaning you could be paying over the odds to insure the contents of your home.’
    take odds
    • Offer a bet with odds unfavourable to the other better.

      ‘you might be tempted to take odds on a dead heat’
      • ‘It's therefore worth investigating, in practical terms, how much difference taking odds really makes.’
      • ‘One simply lays or takes odds on the team he expects to win the game.’
      • ‘There are bookmakers already taking odds that Mr. Lewis, like Muhammad Ali in 1979, will soon retire from this retirement and be back in the ring.’
      • ‘The punter took odds of 20-1 on Irish horse Davids Lad for next month's race at Aintree.’
      • ‘This being British, male and British-made, most members would be happy taking odds on the fastest of two snowflakes.’
      • ‘The Council say it will take a year but I wouldn't take odds on this, bearing in mind, for instance, Eastbrook Hall or Rawson Market.’
    what's the odds?
    • What does it matter?

      • ‘What's the odds of getting at least one marble from the multiple pot scenario?’
      • ‘What's the odds of flipping a coin and coming up heads?’


      From an earlier sense of odds; compare with it makes no odds.


Early 16th century apparently the plural of the obsolete noun odd ‘odd number or odd person’.