- involving or full of grave risk or peril; hazardous; dangerous: a perilous voyage across the Atlantic in a small boat.
Origin of perilous
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for perilous
Satirists occupy a perilous position—to skewer dogma and cant, and to antagonize the establishment while needing its protection.Harry Shearer on The Dangerous Business of Satire
January 8, 2015
It is a tricky and perilous path, but there are no realistic alternatives.There’s Only One Way to Beat ISIS: Work With Assad and Iran
Leslie H. Gelb
October 18, 2014
But if Mare Nostrum ends, it could be a tragic day for migrants making the perilous crossing.Are European Rescuers Enticing Migrants to Their Deaths?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
September 7, 2014
Unfortunately, this can result in sending a well-intentioned but perilous message.'Genie, You're Free': Suicide Is Not Liberation
August 12, 2014
And now Persecuted holds up a mirror to the perilous situation facing increasingly disenfranchised Christians in modern America.‘Persecuted’ Is the Christian Right’s Paranoid Wet Dream
July 22, 2014
For his perilous and laborious work it was better, he judged, that he should not be married.Weighed and Wanting
During this service, the most perilous action occurred in which he was ever engaged.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
And these perilous contacts from all these strange hands he must endure.White Fang
The Germans made that quite as perilous a venture as the advance had been.
They were in a perilous position, right beneath the guns of the fortress.
- very hazardous or dangerousa perilous journey
Word Origin and History for perilous
c.1300, from Old French perillos "perilous, dangerous" (Modern French périlleux) "dangerous, hazardous," from Latin periculosus "dangerous, hazardous," from periculum "a danger, attempt, risk" (see peril). Related: Perilously; perilousness.