peril

noun
per·​il | \ ˈper-əl How to pronounce peril (audio) , 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 How to pronounce peril (audio) , 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

Subscribe to get the Morning Briefing newsletter delivered to your email inbox weekdays at 7 a.m. Today’s stories MOBILE HOMES: One of Oregon’s biggest stocks of affordable housing -- the mobile home -- is in peril, despite state interventions. oregonlive.com, "Big Float, mobile homes in peril, police believe actor’s body found: Morning Briefing for Monday, July 15," 15 July 2019 Another of President Donald Trump's nominations for a top Pentagon post is potentially in peril amid accusations of inappropriate conduct. Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, "Nomination of another top Pentagon pick potentially in trouble after questions about conduct," 13 July 2019 The couple in peril consists of our heroine, Dani (Florence Pugh), an American graduate student reeling from the sudden death of her family, and Christian (Jack Reynor), the aloof boyfriend who had been on the verge of dumping her. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "The horrifying ‘Midsommar’ is a breakup movie, according to director Ari Aster," 11 July 2019 And with the world in peril, Lance is gonna have to get over it so this unlikely pair can work together. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Tom Holland turns Will Smith into one fly secret agent in Spies in Disguise trailer," 2 July 2019 Thursday’s ruling places all of those reforms in peril. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Partisan Supreme Court Upholds Partisan Power," 27 June 2019 The country's chief prosecutor said Ortiz was not the intended target of the June 9 shooting that put his life in peril, but was merely the victim of a hit gone wrong. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Hard Rock Hotel in Dominican Republic to remove liquor dispensers after tourist deaths," 24 June 2019 One of those reforms, a Senate bill intended to strengthen the authority of the state agency in charge of licensing teachers and investigating claims of misconduct, is in peril as Republicans have gone AWOL in the Senate chambers. oregonlive.com, "Beaverton to address $12 million accounting error, GOP walkout puts sexual misconduct bill in limbo: The week in education," 22 June 2019 Taken together, the American Dream of upward mobility is in peril. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Read: Bernie Sanders defines his vision for democratic socialism in the United States," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for peril

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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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

somewhat formal + literary
: 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 How to pronounce peril (audio) \

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 How to pronounce peril (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on peril

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with peril

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peril

Spanish Central: Translation of peril

Nglish: Translation of peril for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of peril for Arabic Speakers

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