adjective dan·ger·ous \ ˈdān-jə-rəs ; ˈdān-jərs , -zhrəs \
|Updated on: 15 Jul 2018

Definition of dangerous

1 : involving possible injury, pain, harm, or loss : characterized by danger
  • a dangerous job
2 : able or likely to inflict injury or harm
  • a dangerous man





Examples of dangerous in a Sentence

  1. She got into a car accident while driving through a dangerous intersection.

  2. He often drives at dangerous speeds.

  3. The city can be a dangerous place to live.

  4. The storms may cause dangerous flooding.

  5. He is wanted for assault with a dangerous weapon.

  6. the most dangerous of drugs

Recent Examples of dangerous from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dangerous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of dangerous

Synonym Discussion of dangerous

dangerous, hazardous, precarious, perilous, risky mean bringing or involving the chance of loss or injury. dangerous applies to something that may cause harm or loss unless dealt with carefully.
    • soldiers on a dangerous mission
hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure.
    • claims that smoking is hazardous to your health
precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty.
    • earned a precarious living by gambling
perilous strongly implies the immediacy of danger.
    • perilous mountain roads
risky often applies to a known and accepted danger.
    • shied away from risky investments

DANGEROUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of dangerous for English Language Learners

  • : involving possible injury, harm, or death : characterized by danger

  • : able or likely to cause injury, pain, harm, etc.

DANGEROUS Defined for Kids


adjective dan·ger·ous \ ˈdān-jə-rəs , ˈdānj-rəs \

Definition of dangerous for Students

1 : involving possible harm or death : full of danger
  • dangerous work
2 : able or likely to injure
  • A chain saw is a dangerous tool.



Law Dictionary


adjective dan·ger·ous

legal Definition of dangerous

1 : creating a risk of bodily injury
  • a dangerous condition of a public building
2 : able or likely to inflict especially serious bodily injury
  • a dangerous criminal with no regard for human life
  • a dangerous animal
; also : deadly
3 : likely to engage in repeated criminal activity
  • a dangerous offender
Note: The activity that an offender is likely to engage in need not involve violence in order for the offender to be deemed dangerous.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dangerous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


to hasten

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!