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

transitive verb

: to bring into peril : endanger
im-ˈper-əl-mənt How to pronounce imperil (audio)

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
Recent Examples on the Web Further depletion of the Lake’s water supplies will imperil myriad species, each of which plays a critical and interrelated role in the ecological health of the Lake. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Sep. 2023 Her thinking is clear: If there’s a recipe for fitting in, deviating from it is imperiling it. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2023 The South China Morning Post first highlighted the new research on August 14, and since then, the discovery has been covered widely, with some outlets claiming the technique could imperil U.S. missile submarines, rendering them more detectable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 31 Aug. 2023 Bank accounts of the striking scribes are quickly shrinking, film and television show plans are being further imperiled, and California’s massive economy is taking a blow. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 31 Aug. 2023 The infighting and court battles have delayed plans for a permanent home to preserve the artist’s creations, and could imperil museum loans as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing deals. Zachary Small, New York Times, 28 Aug. 2023 To prevent severe losses that can imperil the initial investment, risk management and assessment are essential. Jim Osman, Forbes, 16 July 2023 The number of households paying for basic cable has shrunk considerably, imperiling the longstanding business models of traditional television. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 24 Aug. 2023 After days of urgent warnings, Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall in Baja California on Sunday, turning roads into rivers and imperiling homes before barreling north toward Southern California. Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'imperil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near imperil

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​per·​il im-ˈper-əl How to pronounce imperil (audio)
imperiled or imperilled; imperiling or imperilling
: to place in great danger : endanger
imperilment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on imperil

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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