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

Some Conservative candidates are adopting a damage-control strategy ahead of a vote this month that threatens to further imperil British Prime Minister Theresa May and her ruling party: Don’t mention Brexit. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Whisper Campaign: U.K. Conservatives Steer Clear of Brexit Ahead of Elections," 1 May 2019 But a redrawing of the map could boost Democrats by imperiling more Republican incumbents – including Reps. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Court ruling against North Carolina districts could leave House control in limbo until 2019," 28 Aug. 2018 The exodus of Chinese investors comes as rising interest rates imperil long-running bull markets in many U.S. and European cities. Dominique Fong, WSJ, "Chinese Investors Back Away From Global Property Markets," 1 Jan. 2019 The irony of Sessions’s departure is that Trump has removed one of his most loyal foot soldiers, which could imperil other parts of the president’s agenda. Alex Ward, Vox, "Jeff Sessions is out as attorney general," 7 Nov. 2018 Gibbons are native to China, but loss of forest habitat has imperiled their survival. Eli Meixler, Time, "An Ancient Chinese Tomb Reveals an Extinct Species of Gibbon, and a Warning," 22 June 2018 If a Republican doesn’t finish in the top two to win a spot on the November ballot, their absence in the marquee race could depress turnout among conservatives and imperil every GOP candidate on the ticket. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "California Republicans try to bury differences for the sake of survival," 5 May 2018 Among the 800,000 federal employees deprived of a paycheck during the government's partial shutdown, aviation workers have warned that their lack of compensation imperils the safety of anyone boarding a U.S. commercial flight. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Flight Attendants Union President: Government Shutdown Is 'Disaster' for Aviation Safety," 24 Jan. 2019 Now political scientists who study authoritarian states and elections are sounding the alarm, warning that this kind of rhetoric imperils the health of American democracy. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Trump’s attack on the Florida recounts is an attack on American democracy," 12 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for imperil

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imperil

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

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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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