Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. A certain number of points given beforehand to a weaker side in a contest to equalize the chances of all participants.
  • n.pl. The ratio of the probability of an event's occurring to the probability of its not occurring.
  • n.pl. 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.
  • n.pl. Games A ratio expressing the amount by which the stake of one bettor differs from that of an opposing bettor.
  • n.pl. An amount or a degree by which one thing exceeds or falls short of another: won the contest by considerable odds.
  • idiom at odds In disagreement; in conflict: "The artist and the self-critic . . . are, with a few felicitous exceptions, forever at odds” ( Joyce Carol Oates).
  • idiom by all odds In every possible way; unquestionably: By all odds it is the best film of the year.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ratio of the probabilities of an event happening to that of it not happening.
  • n. The ratio of winnings to stake in betting situations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Difference in favor of one and against another; excess of one of two things or numbers over the other; inequality; advantage; superiority; hence, excess of chances; probability. The odds are often expressed by a ratio
  • n. Quarrel; dispute; debate; strife; -- chiefly in the phrase at odds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Inequality; difference, especially in favor of one and against another; excess in favor of one as compared with another.
  • Hence Advantage; superiority.
  • In betting, the amount or proportion by which the bet of one party to a wager exceeds that of the other: as, to lay or give odds.
  • Hence Probability or degree of probability in favor of that on which odds are laid.
  • In certain games, equalizing allowance given to a weaker side or player by a stronger, as a piece at chess or points at tennis; an allowance as handicap.
  • Er. You that are so good a Gamester ought to give me Odds.
  • Quarrel; dispute; debate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the likelihood of a thing occurring rather than not occurring
  • n. the ratio by which one better's wager is greater than that of another

Etymologies

Pl. of odd.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From odd ("uneven, strange") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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