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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Uneven vaccination rates could imperil the state’s ability to control the coronavirus outbreak, especially as schools and businesses reopen and more contagious variants spread, Dryden-Peterson noted., "Vaccination disparities across race and ethnicity persist in Massachusetts communities most affected by COVID-19," 16 Apr. 2021 The group, which is calling itself the SALT caucus, could imperil passage of President Joe Biden’s tax plan by demanding the tax break. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "New bipartisan SALT caucus adds to Pelosi challenges in passing Biden tax hike," 15 Apr. 2021 But advances in space technology and geopolitical events on Earth could imperil future cooperation and access. Eren Ozmen For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "We can't fully explore space without the government addressing these problems," 30 Mar. 2021 And the changes made in the Senate to win support from lawmakers such as Mr. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) could imperil the relief package in the House if progressive Democrats decide to vote no. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Covid-19 Aid Bill Heads Back to House After Tense Senate Vote," 7 Mar. 2021 Admissions by former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell in a massive defamation lawsuit may imperil her efforts to avoid sanctions in a federal Michigan elections case. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan AG Dana Nessel using Sidney Powell's words against her in pursuit of sanctions," 7 Apr. 2021 Sloppy language might imperil the president’s landmark law—and future legislative and administrative reforms, too. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, "The Republican Legal Assault on Biden’s Covid Relief Plan Could Be Devastating for Democrats," 29 Mar. 2021 The situation, described as a crisis by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, threatens to further imperil Biden's wider ambitions on immigration. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "After sharp restrictions under Trump, Biden projected to expand legal immigration, Pew analysis shows," 22 Mar. 2021 One 2018 Department of Transportation study already has found that a 2-foot rise, expected by mid-century, would imperil a little more than 5% — 250-plus miles — of the state’s most high-traffic highways. Mario Ariza,, "Miles of Florida roads face ‘major problem’ from sea rise. Is state moving fast enough?," 19 Mar. 2021

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for imperil



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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Comments on imperil

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