Risky vs risqué

Risky means containing the possibility or likeliness of danger or failure. Risky is an adjective, related adjectives are riskier and riskiest. The adverb form is riskily, the noun form is riskiness. Risky appears around 1825, taking the place of riskful.

Risqué means improper, borderline indecent. Risqué is an adjective, it appears in the English language in the 1860s, borrowed from the French risqué, past participle of risquer, meaning tending toward impropriety. Risky and risqué are pronounced differently, risky is pronounced RISkee, and risqué holds on to its French pronunciation, risKAY.


Avoiding Risky Seas, Migrants Reach Europe With an Arctic Bike Ride (The New York Times)

Many, particularly professional diplomats, have bemoaned the practice as ineffective and risky. (The Tennessean)

‘Start-ups are by design risky companies’ (The Hindu)

Means, a member of Ebenezer Church of God in Christ, runs a program there on Thursday nights for women with risky pregnancies and new mothers in need of guidance. (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

As Japan this week dealt with a trifecta of natural phenomena — flood, earthquake and volcano — a recent survey has found that Tokyo’s high exposure to man-made and natural threats makes it the world’s second-riskiest city to live in after Taipei. (The Japan Times)

American Apparel bankruptcy: Were risqué ads a turnoff for consumers? (The Christian Science Monitor)

The Muppets Reboot Still Cute, Still Fuzzy, but Now with a Little Risqué Business (People Magazine)

Scandal-ous! Portia de Rossi displays her risqué side in sheer black number at ABC’s TGIT event (The Daily Mail)

The show’s new female judge is said to be worried after a risqué video, filmed some months ago, was uploaded online this week. (The Irish INdependent)

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