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 imperilment (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 Ironically, in overabundance, this algae imperils the fishery. Tony Briscoe,, "In the Great Lakes’ most productive fishing grounds, algae-fueled dead zones are eroding livelihoods," 14 Nov. 2019 So House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and national Democrats are closely watching districts like it for clues to whether their drive to impeach Trump supports or imperils the party’s congressional and presidential ambitions in 2020. Laurie Kellman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Impeachment tests Democrats’ foothold in swing districts," 7 Oct. 2019 Only 2 percent of these mature pine forests remain, and white pine-red pine forests are classified as imperiled in the state’s conservation ranking of native plant communities. Bria Barton, Twin Cities, "In the ‘Lost 40’ of northern Minnesota, lofty pines that escaped logging still grow," 24 Sep. 2019 Any executive action that imperils national security, particularly in connection with classified information falling into the hands of a foreign power, could accurately be described as a matter of urgent concern, as that term is commonly understood. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Breaking Down the Whistleblower Frenzy," 21 Sep. 2019 If voters reject it, the state’s ability to keep its commitments could be imperiled. Hannah Leone,, "To pay for new union contracts, Lightfoot, CPS relying on duct tape — and risky assumptions about the future," 15 Nov. 2019 But the city is increasingly imperiled by flooding at a time of rising sea levels, and weather disasters are becoming more frequent. Washington Post, "Venice partly submerged by highest tides in half a century," 13 Nov. 2019 The falling-out imperils chances for legislation this year, already seen as a long shot. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Trump splits from Pelosi to back Senate drug pricing bill; UPS drones make first delivery for CVS," 6 Nov. 2019 So, as Democrats argue that Trump is threatening the Constitution, expect to hear more about how Republicans believe investigating him imperils national security. NBC News, "Pelosi holds press conference before impeachment resolution vote," 2 Nov. 2019

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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for imperil


How to pronounce imperil (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on imperil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imperil

Spanish Central: Translation of imperil

Nglish: Translation of imperil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imperil for Arabic Speakers

Comments on imperil

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delight or enjoyment

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