the ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way:Nicer is starting at odds of 8-1it is possible for the race to be won at very long odds
(usually the odds) the chances or likelihood of something happening or being the case:the odds are that he is no longer alivethe odds against this ever happening are high
(usually the odds) the balance of advantage; superiority in strength, power, or resources:she clung to the lead against all the oddsthe odds were overwhelmingly in favour of the banks rather than the customer
in conflict or at variance:his behaviour is at odds with the interests of the company
by all odds
North American certainly.
it makes no odds
informal, chiefly British it does not matter:come and see me any time—it makes no odds to me!
[from an earlier use of odds in the sense 'difference in advantage or effect']
lay (or give) odds
offer a bet with odds favourable to the other better:bookies have refused to give odds on the outcome of today’s debate
be very sure about something:I’d lay odds that the person responsible is an insider
over the odds
British above what is generally considered acceptable, especially for a price:you could be paying over the odds for perfume
offer a bet with odds unfavourable to the other better:you might be tempted to take odds on a dead heat
what's the odds?
informal what does it matter?.
[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'