Synonym Chooser

How is the word dangerous distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of dangerous are hazardous, perilous, precarious, and risky. While all these words 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

When could hazardous be used to replace dangerous?

The meanings of hazardous and dangerous largely overlap; however, hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure.

claims that smoking is hazardous to your health

When can perilous be used instead of dangerous?

The synonyms perilous and dangerous are sometimes interchangeable, but perilous strongly implies the immediacy of danger.

perilous mountain roads

When might precarious be a better fit than dangerous?

In some situations, the words precarious and dangerous are roughly equivalent. However, precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty.

earned a precarious living by gambling

When is it sensible to use risky instead of dangerous?

The words risky and dangerous can be used in similar contexts, but risky often applies to a known and accepted danger.

shied away from risky investments

Thesaurus Entries Near dangerous

Cite this Entry

“Dangerous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dangerous. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on dangerous

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.