peril

noun
per·il | \ ˈper-əl , ˈpe-rəl \

Definition of peril 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost : danger fire put the city in peril

2 : something that imperils or endangers : risk lessen the perils of the streets

peril

verb
per·il | \ ˈper-əl , ˈpe-rəl \
periled also perilled; periling also perilling

Definition of peril (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to expose to danger

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Examples of peril in a Sentence

Noun

Just last week he issued a statement encouraging all Iraqis to participate in the election scheduled for January, and he called on the Iraqi government to start registering voters. The powers that be in Iraq ignore him at their peril. —Johanna McGeary, Time, 25 Oct. 2004 One lesson of both the law-school and the Paulin controversies may be the peril of making free-speech judgments at Internet speed. —Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker, 27 Jan. 2003 The old man rose and towered over Cameron, and then plunged down upon him, and clutched at his throat with terrible stifling hands. The harsh contact, the pain awakened Cameron to his peril before it was too late. —Zane Grey, Desert Gold, 1913 People are unaware of the peril these miners face each day. She described global warming as “a growing peril.”

Verb

… she did more harm than all Frederick's diplomacy could repair, and perilled her chance of her inheritance like a giddy heedless creature as she was. —William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1848 a tribute to the men and women who, as firefighters, peril their lives daily

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And if a student makes it through that gauntlet of perils, high-stakes end-of-course exams are waiting to deter them from graduating. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "TEACHING FOR BLACK LIVES," 10 July 2018 As if to punctuate the peril, a former Thai navy diver died while taking part in rescue efforts, running out of oxygen. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Thai soccer rescue efforts might need to happen sooner than expected, experts warn," 7 July 2018 Such are the perils of an unproven bullpen – and one that has been touched by injuries to the two pitchers who, entering this season, were its most experienced members. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "Gabe Kapler isn't God, and the Phillies bullpen has few good options | Mike Sielski," 26 June 2018 His job in peril, Southern Illinois President Randy Dunn enjoyed broad support at a Thursday morning meeting that could end with him forced into a leave of absence. Dawn Rhodes, chicagotribune.com, "Supporters flock to defend embattled SIU president as trustees consider ouster," 21 June 2018 Inside the cabin is another peril — one that's less grounded in wildlife, but no less immediate. refinery29.com, "No, Lauren Groff Isn't Writing About Herself In Florida," 15 June 2018 In vibrant watercolor-and-ink drawings, Edwards tells a delightful story of friendship, peril, teamwork, and song. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Voyages, animals, beauty for the youngest readers," 11 June 2018 There are different ways to look at peril, after all, and perhaps being reminded of the frailty—and beauty—of human life every day could be seen as a gift, not a tragedy waiting to happen. Kimberly Dark, Curbed, "Living on the edge," 6 June 2018 And the third peril, which is perhaps the most dangerous of all, is that the sale price will undermine the regular price by forever lowering expectations about how much customers are willing to pay. Adam Snitzer, miamiherald, "Marketers: Beware the perils of in-store promotions," 3 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peril.' 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 peril

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1567, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for peril

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin perīculum "test, trial, risk, danger," going back to *perei-tlom, from *perei- (of uncertain origin) + *-tlom, instrumental suffix (going back to Indo-European)

Note: Latin perīculum has traditionally been explained as a derivative from a proposed Indo-European verbal base *per- "test, risk," seen also in perītus "practiced, experienced," experior, experīrī "to put to the test, attempt, have experience of, undergo" (see experience entry 1) and opperior, opperīrī "to wait, wait for"; these have been compared with Greek peîra "trial, attempt, experience," peiráomai, peirâsthai "to make a trial of, attempt," émpeiros "experienced" (see empiric)—going back to *per-i̯a—and more tentatively with Germanic *fērō "pursuit, danger" (see fear entry 2). This *per- "test, risk" is then taken further as a semantic derivative of *per- "cross, pass" (see fare entry 1). Alternatively, if the formative -i- represents the Indo-European present-tense suffix *-ei̯-/-i-, Latin peri-/perī- in these words fits naturally with Indo-European *perh3-/pr̥h3- "bring forth, give rise to, produce" (if taken as a middle verb "give rise to within oneself, experience, undergo"), with *pr̥h3-i- yielding Latin pariō, parere "to give birth to" (see parturient entry 1) and *perh3-ei̯- yielding the per-ī- of perīculum, etc. It is unclear if the base of experior and opperior contains par- or per-, as the simplex verb is not attested. (Cf. Michiel de Vaan, "PIE i-presents, s-presents, and their reflexes in Latin," Glotta, Band 87 [2011], pp. 23-36.)

Verb

derivative of peril entry 1

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Phrases Related to peril

at one's own peril

at one's peril

Statistics for peril

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for peril

The first known use of peril was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for peril

peril

noun

English Language Learners Definition of peril

: the possibility that you will be hurt or killed or that something unpleasant or bad will happen

: something that is likely to cause injury, pain, harm, or loss

peril

noun
per·il | \ ˈper-əl \

Kids Definition of peril

1 : the state of being in great danger The storm put our ship in peril.

2 : a cause or source of danger the perils of skydiving

peril

noun
per·il | \ ˈper-əl \

Legal Definition of peril 

1 : exposure to the risk of death, destruction, or loss

2 : the cause of a loss (as of property) insured their home against fire, floods, and other perils — compare risk

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Comments on peril

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