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 Not only is the skier at risk of serious injury or death if the takeoff and landing aren’t smooth, there’s the chance of triggering an avalanche onto the roadway below, imperiling unsuspecting motorists. Gregory Thomas,, "Ski-jumping over Highway 50? Here’s how Josh Daiek did it," 8 Feb. 2020 Because of the trade war, the toy industry was effectively prepared for a moment in which its access to Chinese suppliers was imperiled, Mr. Woldenberg said. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "SARS Stung the Global Economy. The Coronavirus Is a Greater Menace.," 3 Feb. 2020 Chris Dickman, a University of Sydney professor from the science faculty, had to revise his initial estimate of the number of animals killed or imperiled on the enormous continent because of the fire's ferocious spread. Fox News, "Australia’s fires have killed or imperiled 1 billion animals, expert warns," 12 Jan. 2020 The rest remain on the list—federally protected, but still imperiled. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Meet the American animals that bounced back in 2019," 17 Dec. 2019 Hall Hall, a 33-year veteran of the UK foreign service, and a former ambassador to Georgia, said UK institutions had been undermined and the reputation of British democracy abroad had been imperiled. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "Top British diplomat Alexandra Hall Hall quits with searing Brexit critique," 6 Dec. 2019 In an era of social media and fluid, proliferating channels of communication and exchange, the idea of friendship seems almost quaint, and possibly imperiled. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "What Jacques Derrida Understood About Friendship," 3 Dec. 2019 By nightfall, Trump had set in motion events that would trigger only the fourth impeachment inquiry in history, imperiling his presidency and further calcifying divisions in a polarized nation. Nancy Benac, The Denver Post, "What happened on July 25, the day Trump asked Zelenskiy for a favor," 30 Nov. 2019 Legal experts emphasized proving conspiracy to financially imperil GM or take action that leads to a merger may be difficult, since GM never actually merged with anyone and its profit has been strong. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Fraud and bribery? OK, but that doesn't win the case for General Motors," 21 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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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

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