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

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
Recent Examples on the Web The country could delay its exit from coal, but that would imperil its goals for sharply reducing carbon emissions. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, 16 Mar. 2022 Catastrophic dieback would imperil millions of people who rely on the ecosystem for food; 70 percent of the rain that falls in northern Argentina, a South American breadbasket, comes from Amazonian trees. Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2022 The companies who owned the plants publicly insisted that shuttering plants would spark a meat shortage and imperil the country’s food supply. Gabriel N. Rosenberg, The New Republic, 27 Dec. 2021 At a court hearing last week Moot had deflected concerns from lawyers for the district that issuing an injunction would not leave the district time to have a midway and would imperil the fair. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 How far would either of these clubs go to imperil a 2022 season? Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2022 More than half of the rainforest could be converted into savanna in a matter of decades — a transition that would imperil biodiversity, shift regional weather patterns and dramatically accelerate climate change. Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2022 If the government cannot reach an agreement, HBTSS could be limited to 2021 spending levels for the project: $130 million, a sum that would likely imperil the project’s schedule. Jason Sherman, Scientific American, 18 Jan. 2022 The court’s conservative majority has targeted the EPA with a tradition-smashing move that could imperil the administrative state. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 6 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near imperil

imperial yellow



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Statistics for imperil

Last Updated

2 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for imperil


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 Fire imperiled the forest.

More from Merriam-Webster on imperil

Nglish: Translation of imperil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imperil for Arabic Speakers


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