Synonyms & Antonyms of perilous

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Frequently Asked Questions About perilous

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

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Time Traveler for perilous

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

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Cite this Entry

“Perilous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on perilous

Dictionary: Definition of perilous

Nglish: Translation of perilous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perilous for Arabic Speakers


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