Synonym Chooser

How is the word precarious distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of precarious are dangerous, hazardous, perilous, and risky. While all these words mean "bringing or involving the chance of loss or injury," precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty.

earned a precarious living by gambling

Where would dangerous be a reasonable alternative to precarious?

While in some cases nearly identical to precarious, dangerous applies to something that may cause harm or loss unless dealt with carefully.

soldiers on a dangerous mission

When is hazardous a more appropriate choice than precarious?

The words hazardous and precarious can be used in similar contexts, but hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure.

claims that smoking is hazardous to your health

When is it sensible to use perilous instead of precarious?

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

perilous mountain roads

In what contexts can risky take the place of precarious?

While the synonyms risky and precarious are close in meaning, risky often applies to a known and accepted danger.

shied away from risky investments


Thesaurus Entries Near precarious

Cite this Entry

“Precarious.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

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