yellow peril


often capitalized Y&P
: a danger to Western civilization held to arise from expansion of the power and influence of eastern Asian peoples
: a threat to Western living standards from the influx of eastern Asian laborers willing to work for very low wages

Examples of yellow peril in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The attacks over the last two years did not happen in a vacuum, but reflect the endurance of yellow peril, which physiologically and ideologically desensitizes, dehumanizes, and weaponizes Asians and Asian Americans. ELLE, 17 Mar. 2022 Hardy responded by joking nihilistically about the rise of China in language tinged with yellow peril metaphors. Rebecca Davis, Variety, 30 Nov. 2021 Some civil rights advocates cited former president Donald Trump’s xenophobic language, which harked back to old yellow peril propaganda, as one cause. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 The superhero has been plagued by tropes that society still imposes on Asian Americans both in real life and in fiction — yellow peril, kung fu master, etc. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 Yet viral surveillance footage, bystander videos, local reporting, and anti-Asian hate incident reports continue to document an alarming return of yellow peril to the United States. Sarah Wang, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 June 2021 Experiencing that difference, glimpsing a bit of that yellow peril, has been insightful and painful. Beth Nguyen, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2021 Resurging xenophobia recalls Hollywood’s repeated images of Chinatown as a dark warren of yellow peril. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 26 Mar. 2021 There were newspaper reports; there were radio talk shows that talked about the yellow peril and the menace. Cassa Niedringhaus, The Denver Post, 27 June 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yellow peril.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of yellow peril was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near yellow peril

Cite this Entry

“Yellow peril.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!