Choose the right word
danger, peril, hazard, risk
Danger is the most general word for a possibility of suffering harm or injury ( they were in great danger). It can also refer to a likely cause of harm or injury ( he is a danger to himself and others) or, in the plural, to the quality of potentially causing harm ( the dangers of smoking). Danger can have connotations of excitement ( the Prince has always enjoyed flirting with danger).Peril is a more formal or literary word ( the self-government of this country is in peril | the immediate peril confronting the world in the early 1940s), and is normally used in the plural when referring to a quality of something ( the perils of drink-driving). Peril can refer to a possibility of harm that a person may knowingly undergo ( we ignore these warnings at our peril).Hazard is principally used to describe an actual source of danger ( lead pipes are a serious hazard to health), as well as the dangers inherent in something named ( cuts and grazes are a hazard of life). It is used in the plural when referring to the dangerous quality of something ( increased official recognition of the hazards of asbestos).Risk denotes a more predictable possibility of harm arising from an action or a situation, or from an action or object that increases the likelihood of harm ( ozone depletion may increase the risk of skin cancer | going on holiday without insurance is always a risk). A risk may often be a danger that someone chooses to incur because it is outweighed by some other consideration ( you're taking a risk by meeting me).