im·​per·​il | \im-ˈper-əl, -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, -​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

Scientists have recently learned that the approach to gene editing can inadvertently wipe out and rearrange large swaths of DNA in ways that may imperil human health. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 30 Nov. 2018 In other words, all of the customary issues that could imperil a lot of politicians don’t seem to affect Trump. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Storm clouds gather for GOP as midterms approach – but forecast isn’t clear," 22 Aug. 2018 As training camp starts across the National Football League next week, the sport is at a crossroads, its future imperiled by the very physicality that drives its appeal. Rob Ruck, WSJ, "The Samoan Way of Football," 20 July 2018 He was alternately cast Thursday as an enabler of a hard-partying culture that nearly four decades later threatens to imperil President Trump’s nominee, and as a troubled but gifted pal who embellished tales. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "Kavanaugh High-School Friend Mark Judge, a Potential Key to Many Questions, Is Absent," 27 Sep. 2018 And with the ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain away from Washington, any GOP defections could begin to imperil a nominee. Catherine Lucey, Washington Post, "Trump mulls Supreme Court choice from 2 or 3 candidates," 7 July 2018 Each year the board accuses roughly 300 doctors of violations that imperil their medical license. Soumya Karlamangla,, "A California doctor is selling 13-second recordings of hissing sounds to patients. But the medical board isn't buying it," 25 May 2018 But today the administration’s trade policy is beginning to create a level of uncertainty that could imperil the recovery. Phil Gramm And, WSJ, "Trump’s Trade Threats Are Hurting Growth," 9 May 2018 Candid, gossipy and occasionally imperiled by demons, Margery Kempe was a 15th-century mystic and the author of a terrific medieval tell-all. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "10 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 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

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imperil

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

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More Definitions for imperil



English Language Learners Definition of imperil

: to put (something or someone) in a dangerous situation


im·​per·​il | \im-ˈper-əl \
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

What made you want to look up imperil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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