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 In order to be removed, a tweet must make a claim of fact, be demonstrably false or misleading based on authoritative sources and be likely to imperil public safety or cause serious harm. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook winning war on COVID vaccine lies, hoaxes and conspiracies. Twitter and TikTok? Not so much, report says," 7 May 2021 Provincial governments across the country are now reckoning with a damaging third wave of Covid-19, one that might imperil the universal healthcare system of which Canadians are so fiercely proud. Paula Newton, CNN, "Canada's healthcare workers brace for the painful blow of a punishing third wave," 18 Apr. 2021 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif separately warned Natanz would be reconstructed with more advanced machines, something that could imperil ongoing talks in Vienna with world powers about saving Tehran’s tattered atomic accord. NBC News, "Iran blames Israel for sabotage at Natanz nuclear site," 12 Apr. 2021 Officials are trying to avert a full-scale breach that could release a 20-foot wall of wastewater and imperil nearby homes and businesses. Alistair Macdonald, WSJ, "Florida Crews Race to Prevent Collapse of Wastewater Reservoir," 5 Apr. 2021 The community activist Kim Sudderth worried that the pipeline would not only pose a direct safety threat—its route passed close to an elementary school—but would also imperil the river’s recovery. Carrie Arnold, The Atlantic, "This Tiny Fish Can Withstand Almost Anything," 15 Mar. 2021 For months, as opponents gathered signatures from voters ready to remove him from office, Gov. Gavin Newsom publicly ignored the recall drive that could imperil his political future. Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Gavin Newsom defends pandemic response despite 'mistakes,' swipes at recall effort," 9 Mar. 2021 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

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

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imperil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 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.

Comments on imperil

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