Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Full of or involving peril; dangerous or risky.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Full of peril or danger; dangerous; hazardous, risky: as, a perilous undertaking or situation; a perilous attempt.
  • Terrible; to be feared; liable to inflict injury or harm; dangerous.
  • Sharp; sarcastic; smart. Compare parlous.
  • Synonyms Risky. See danger.
  • Exceedingly; very.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Full of, attended with, or involving, peril; dangerous; hazardous.
  • adjective obsolete Daring; reckless; dangerous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Dangerous, full of peril.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective fraught with danger

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French perilleus, from the noun peril.

Examples

  • Schapiro says it would be unwise for the SEC to pull back during what she called perilous times.

    CNN Transcript Mar 11, 2009

  • She is on edge when she sees her daughter on screen in perilous situations.

    Kerry Washington and mom Valerie: A picture of love

  • His accounts of dealing with right-wing militias, prison rioters, terrorist hijackers and even jealous ex-husbands show that negotiators must be masters of persuasion, pillars of unflappability and skilled improvisers who can make split-second decisions in perilous situations.

    Book review of "Stalling for Time," by ex-FBI hostage negotiator Gary Noesner

  • But leaving its TV home base puts it in perilous new territory.

    Shill Shocked

  • His accounts of dealing with right-wing militias, prison rioters, terrorist hijackers and even jealous ex-husbands show that negotiators must be masters of persuasion, pillars of unflappability and skilled improvisers who can make split-second decisions in perilous situations.

    Book review of "Stalling for Time," by ex-FBI hostage negotiator Gary Noesner

  • But he exhausted himself without advancing, and so churned and broke the grass surface, that a tiny pool of water began to form in perilous proximity to his mouth and nose.

    THE TASTE OF THE MEAT

  • But leaving its TV home base puts it in perilous new territory.

    Shill Shocked

  • Both took office as the nation's economy was in perilous times.

    Polls can affect president's hold on party

  • So perilous is this world that, even in thoughtful repose, the jackasses assume a position of defense, protecting their gonads against the punch that will surely come.

    'Jackass 3D': Tomfoolery and camaraderie in a whole new dimension

  • What makes their acts of projection even more perilous is the fact that, to an unprecedented degree, key Bush officials have maintained their interests in the disaster capitalism complex even as they have ushered in a new era of privatized war and disaster response, allowing them to simultaneously profit from the disasters they help unleash.

    Shocking Greed

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