Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Full of or involving peril; dangerous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Dangerous, full of peril.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

  • adj. fraught with danger

Etymologies

Old French perilleus, from the noun peril. (Wiktionary)

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

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

    Polls can affect president's hold on party

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • How perilous is life, and how often we make decisions that lead us to life altering events without even knowing it.

    Sunday Scribbblings-Who Might I Have Been?

  • I am willing to stipulate that they were all honorable men -- we can table for this moment the question of slaveholding and collaboration with slaveholders -- who did the best they could to shape a new nation in perilous times.

    Balkinization

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