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

The crackdown comes as the number of those trying to make the perilous crossing is dwindling. Karl Ritter, The Seattle Times, "US, Europe clamp down on migration even as arrivals drop," 9 July 2018 Just hours earlier the ship had saved her and 944 other refugees, who had braved the perilous crossing from northern Africa to Europe. William Lee Adams, Billboard, "Madame Monsieur's 'Mercy': How a Newborn Refugee Inspired France's Eurovision Song Entry," 26 Apr. 2018 Goldberg’s column is symptomatic of the way National Review now exists in perilous territory between the left and the right. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "National Review inhabits an intellectual no-man’s land.," 30 May 2018 Public polling seems to support the conclusion that impeachment talk is perilous territory for Democrats looking to persuade new voters. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Mega-Donor Tom Steyer Is Forcing Democrats to Talk Impeachment. Is It a Losing Strategy?," 25 May 2018 The case places both the cardinal and the pope in potentially perilous territory. Washington Post, "Australian cardinal faces 2 trials on sexual abuse charges," 3 May 2018 The case places both the cardinal and the pope in potentially perilous territory. Fox News, "Cardinal Pell to face trial on criminal charges in Australia," 2 May 2018 The case places both the cardinal and the pope in potentially perilous territory. Rod Mcguirk,, "Pope Francis’ former finance minister faces sex abuse charges," 1 May 2018 Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking Tuesday before the final rescue was completed, said the boys were given an anti-anxiety medication to help with their perilous removal from the cave. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright, Houston Chronicle, "'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 in Thai cave," 11 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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Phrases Related to perilous

perilously close to

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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

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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

What made you want to look up perilous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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