Risk vs. Threat

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“Be brave.  Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”

Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian novelist

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., an American activist

Both risk and threat are about some unpleasant or even dangerous things. But they are different. How? Do you feel it? Read on to put the feeling into words and also learn some useful vocabulary to talk about risks and threats.


Risk(countable/uncountable) is the possibility that something unpleasant or dangerousmight happen (Macmillan Dictionary):

The riskof global economic losses continues to grow.

You’re at risk of developing a secondary infection.

This presents a great risk that innocent people will be killed.

The equipment posed no health risk to visitors or operators.

Risk is always a countable noun if you mean someone or something that is likely to be a danger or problem in the future:

It’s a risk to 

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