Definition of peril in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɛrɪl/
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛr(ə)l/


[mass noun]
1Serious and immediate danger: you could well place us both in peril the movement is in peril of dying [count noun]: a setback to the state could present a peril to the regime
More example sentences
  • Saunders called a timeout and considered his response to a situation fraught with peril.
  • Agitated behavior often develops abruptly and at times has potential for immediate peril.
  • The thief was probably unaware of the stir that he had caused or that his actions had now put his life in serious peril.
danger, jeopardy, risk, riskiness, hazard, insecurity, uncertainty, menace, threat, perilousness;
pitfall, problem
1.1 (perils) The risks or difficulties that arise from a particular situation or activity: she first witnessed the perils of pop stardom a decade ago
More example sentences
  • British Transport Police officers are warning youngsters not to risk the perils of trespassing on train tracks after they were called to an incident near Skelton.
  • For I have witnessed at first hand the perils of living with a fathers' rights activist who seems to enjoy his campaigning more than the brass tacks of bringing up young children.
  • Mandatory meetings were launched, in which workers were shown videos ‘exposing’ the perils of labor representation.

verb (perils, perilling, perilled; US perils, periling, periled)

[with object] archaic
Expose to danger; threaten: Jonathon perilled his life for love of David
More example sentences
  • This child has periled you in no way.
  • Fear like quivering rain after a lightening bolt periled the air.


at one's peril

At one’s own risk (used in warnings): neglect our advice at your peril
More example sentences
  • Now you step on it at your peril, and with risk of severe damage to the grass.
  • You risk missing this deadline at your peril, as this article from last week explains!
  • Events 80 years ago prove that we ignore that advice at our peril.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin peric(u)lum 'danger', from the base of experiri 'to try'.

  • The fact that trying something new can be dangerous is reflected in the history of peril. It comes via Old French, from Latin peric(u)lum ‘danger, experiment’, formed from experiri ‘to try’.

Words that rhyme with peril

beryl, Cheryl, chrysoberyl, imperil, Merrill, Sheryl

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: peril

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