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perilous Line breaks: per¦il|ous
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛrɪləs/

Definition of perilous in English:


1Full of danger or risk: a perilous journey south
More example sentences
  • I thus embark on a perilous undertaking, knowing full well that I risk the wrath of both women and men.
  • But when the distances are longer and the borders tougher, the journeys become much more perilous.
  • The situation was extremely perilous and the patrol was in danger of being wiped out by the heavy crossfire.
dangerous, fraught with danger, hazardous, risky, unsafe, treacherous;
precarious, vulnerable, uncertain, insecure, critical, desperate, exposed, at risk, in jeopardy, in danger, touch-and-go;
problematic, difficult
informal hairy, dicey
North American informal gnarly
archaic or humorous parlous
1.1Exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin: the economy is in a perilous state
More example sentences
  • The prospect of mass destruction made real the perilous state of western civilization.
  • His financial state is also said to be increasingly perilous.
  • We are appalled at the perilous state of the farming and fishing industries.


Middle English: from Old French perillous, from Latin periculosus, from periculum 'danger' (see peril).



Pronunciation: /ˈpɛrɪləsli/
Example sentences
  • These areas have perilously low stocks and many rivers are in imminent danger of losing their salmon forever.
  • They had come perilously close to scuttling their season.
  • There is a little school, though numbers are perilously low.


Pronunciation: /ˈpɛrɪləsnəs/
Example sentences
  • A visual feast, it brilliantly captures the perilousness of being an animal, and an outsider, in a cruel bipedal world.
  • It's difficult to overstate the perilousness of the situation.
  • Their perilousness lies in their ordered destructiveness - it is a misuse on a vast scale of the human desire for order - and in the irrationality and incalculability of their pressure for the victory of the revolutionary new order.

Words that rhyme with perilous

angelus • Aeschylus

Definition of perilous in:

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