im·​per·​il | \ im-ˈper-əl How to pronounce imperil (audio) , -ˈpe-rəl \
imperiled or imperilled; imperiling or imperilling

Definition of imperil

transitive verb

: to bring into peril : endanger

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Other Words from imperil

imperilment \ im-​ˈper-​əl-​mənt How to pronounce imperil (audio) , -​ˈpe-​rəl-​ \ noun

Examples of imperil in a Sentence

The toxic fumes imperiled the lives of the trapped miners. The financial health of the company was imperiled by a string of bad investments. a list of imperiled species
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Recent Examples on the Web On Friday, before the bill became law, Mr. Barr said in unusually blunt language that the U.S. was worried the law would imperil future security cooperation between the two countries. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico Passes Law Curbing Operations of Foreign Security Agents," 15 Dec. 2020 But in the era of COVID-19, officials and experts say Sunday's game poses a tremendous risk, and that widespread large watch parties could imperil California's precarious emergence from the pandemic's worst wave. Luke Money, Star Tribune, "Experts warn: Stay away from Super Bowl parties," 6 Feb. 2021 The prospect of such a fall-out—which had been a looming prospect for years—raised the possibility of a sudden stop or delays to daily trading across the border into France, that could even imperil supplies of fresh food and medicines. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The U.K. has finally reached a Christmas Eve trade deal with the EU," 24 Dec. 2020 In a blog post Wednesday, Facebook sharpened its criticism of Apple’s plan to enable users to restrict certain apps from collecting personal data, saying those policies could imperil small businesses while potentially benefiting its own bottom line. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, "Facebook Wades Into ‘Fortnite’ Maker’s Dispute With Apple," 16 Dec. 2020 Indonesian aviation analysts said that this crash could imperil Sriwijaya Air’s viability, especially as the coronavirus has emptied Indonesian skies of many planes. New York Times, "Indonesian Jetliner Crashes Into the Sea After Takeoff, Carrying 62," 10 Jan. 2021 Trump was in the middle of formally drafting his demand for the larger payments when White House officials told him that doing so could imperil delicate negotiations over the economic relief package, the officials said. Washington Post, "Live updates: Southern California’s ICU capacity falls to 0% as U.S. sets virus records," 18 Dec. 2020 Britain claimed the bill was needed as a safety net, but the move infuriated the EU, which saw it as an act of bad faith that could imperil Northern Ireland’s peace settlement. Fox News, "UK, EU head for supper showdown over Brexit trade deal," 10 Dec. 2020 Here, the federal government sided against the former slaves, saying that allowing their case to be heard could imperil U.S. international relations. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court questions Holocaust survivors' ability to sue Germany and Hungary in US courts," 7 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of imperil

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for imperil

Middle English inperiled, from in- in- entry 2 + peril peril entry 1 + -ed -ed entry 1

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Time Traveler for imperil

Time Traveler

The first known use of imperil was in the 15th century

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Statistics for imperil

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for imperil



English Language Learners Definition of imperil

formal : to put (something or someone) in a dangerous situation


im·​per·​il | \ im-ˈper-əl How to pronounce imperil (audio) \
imperiled or imperilled; imperiling or imperilling

Kids Definition of imperil

: to place in great danger They rescued their imperiled comrades.

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