per·​il·​ous | \ˈper-ə-ləs, ˈpe-rə-\

Definition of perilous 

: full of or involving peril a perilous journey

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Other Words from perilous

perilously adverb
perilousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for perilous

dangerous, hazardous, precarious, perilous, risky mean bringing or involving the chance of loss or injury. dangerous applies to something that may cause harm or loss unless dealt with carefully. soldiers on a dangerous mission hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure. claims that smoking is hazardous to your health precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty. earned a precarious living by gambling perilous strongly implies the immediacy of danger. perilous mountain roads risky often applies to a known and accepted danger. shied away from risky investments

Examples of perilous in a Sentence

a perilous journey across the mountains a perilous journey through hostile territory

Recent Examples on the Web

That also is allowed by the Indiana constitution but carries with it the politically perilous distinction of not giving Hill his due process. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Curtis Hill scandal threatens his future — and stability in Indiana Statehouse," 8 July 2018 In a moment as perilous as ours, President Eisenhower recognized that unrestrained military spending creates distrust, worsens tensions and makes peaceful resolutions to conflict harder to achieve. Izumi Nakamitsu, Time, "Global Military Spending Has Doubled but the World Is No Safer," 25 Apr. 2018 The two-and-a-half-mile dive between the team and the nearest exit was perilous even for the strongest and most advanced divers, and one Thai Navy SEAL diver, Saman Kunan, died last week during the rescue effort. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "All 12 Thai Soccer Players and Their Coach Have Been Rescued," 10 July 2018 Chinese who learned of the successful landing heaped praise on Liu, a formerly military pilot, for his life-saving maneuvers during a perilous situation. NBC News, "Sichuan Airlines co-pilot sucked halfway out cockpit window, pilot says," 15 May 2018 This uncertainty comes at a particularly perilous moment, as Trump prepares for a summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in Singapore, on June 12th. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The End of the Iran Deal and Trump’s New, Confrontational Foreign Policy," 13 May 2018 The new Text-to-911 service went into effect starting this month and is a county-wide initiative aimed at persons in need of assistance, but who cannot make a phone call due to being in a perilous situation. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Montgomery County rolls out text to 911 service," 5 May 2018 Nelson said adult passengers and babies have stayed firmly in their seats in otherwise perilous situations, thanks to the belt. Christopher Spata, miamiherald, "This photo confirms what flight attendants already suspected: No one is paying attention | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018 By the early 1990s, Doyle Drive, an unsightly elevated roadway from the 1930s, was seen as perilous to drivers and seismically unsafe. John King,, "Michael Painter, who conceived Presidio Parkway to replace SF’s Doyle Drive, dies," 5 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perilous

Middle English perilous, perelous, borrowed from Anglo-French perilleus, perillous, going back to Latin perīculōsus, from perīculum "test, risk, peril entry 1" + -ōsus -ous

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Statistics for perilous

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for perilous

The first known use of perilous was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for perilous



English Language Learners Definition of perilous

: full of danger


per·​il·​ous | \ˈper-ə-ləs \

Kids Definition of perilous

: dangerous sense 1 a perilous journey

Other Words from perilous

perilously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on perilous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perilous

Spanish Central: Translation of perilous

Nglish: Translation of perilous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perilous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on perilous

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by force of circumstances

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