dan·​ger·​ous ˈdān-jə-rəs How to pronounce dangerous (audio)
: involving possible injury, pain, harm, or loss : characterized by danger
a dangerous job
: able or likely to inflict injury or harm
a dangerous man
dangerously adverb
dangerousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for dangerous

dangerous, hazardous, precarious, perilous, risky 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

hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure.

claims that smoking is hazardous to your health

precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty.

earned a precarious living by gambling

perilous strongly implies the immediacy of danger.

perilous mountain roads

risky often applies to a known and accepted danger.

shied away from risky investments

Examples of dangerous in a Sentence

She got into a car accident while driving through a dangerous intersection. He often drives at dangerous speeds. The city can be a dangerous place to live. The storms may cause dangerous flooding. He is wanted for assault with a dangerous weapon. the most dangerous of drugs See More
Recent Examples on the Web But, dangerous or not, Davis was too curious to keep away from the object. Mitchell Willetts, Miami Herald, 13 Feb. 2024 Structural inflation is dangerous and intractable, capable of causing lasting damage to the economy as a whole. George Calhoun, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Erectile dysfunction medications can be dangerous for people with heart problems who take nitrate therapy for chest pain, experts said. Maggie O'Neill, Verywell Health, 13 Feb. 2024 And that if there is a degree of asymmetry in the power of attack versus the power of defense, then that could be very dangerous for society at large. TIME, 13 Feb. 2024 Hundreds of them took to Instagram, calling on Uber Eats to edit the commercial that makes light of extremely dangerous situations their children face daily. Sunny Nagpaul, Fortune, 12 Feb. 2024 Wet seed in the feeders can quickly mold and become dangerous to birds. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, 12 Feb. 2024 Light pollution is making migration more dangerous for some species as well, particularly birds. Angela Dewan, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 And people may not know when they’re being exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History


see danger entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dangerous was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near dangerous

Cite this Entry

“Dangerous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dangerous. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


dan·​ger·​ous ˈdānj-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce dangerous (audio)
: exposing to or involving danger
a dangerous mission
: able or likely to cause injury
dangerous weapons
dangerously adverb
dangerousness noun

Legal Definition


: creating a risk of bodily injury
a dangerous condition of a public building
: able or likely to inflict especially serious bodily injury
a dangerous criminal with no regard for human life
a dangerous animal
also : deadly
: likely to engage in repeated criminal activity
a dangerous offender

Note: The activity that an offender is likely to engage in need not involve violence in order for the offender to be deemed dangerous.

More from Merriam-Webster on dangerous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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