Synonym Chooser

How is the word perilous distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of perilous are dangerous, hazardous, precarious, and risky. While all these words mean "bringing or involving the chance of loss or injury," perilous strongly implies the immediacy of danger.

perilous mountain roads

When might dangerous be a better fit than perilous?

The words dangerous and perilous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dangerous applies to something that may cause harm or loss unless dealt with carefully.

soldiers on a dangerous mission

When is it sensible to use hazardous instead of perilous?

The synonyms hazardous and perilous are sometimes interchangeable, but hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure.

claims that smoking is hazardous to your health

When can precarious be used instead of perilous?

While in some cases nearly identical to perilous, precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty.

earned a precarious living by gambling

When would risky be a good substitute for perilous?

In some situations, the words risky and perilous are roughly equivalent. However, risky often applies to a known and accepted danger.

shied away from risky investments

Thesaurus Entries Near perilous

Cite this Entry

“Perilous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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