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Origin of perilous

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French perillous < Latin perīculōsus. See peril, -ous
Related formsper·il·ous·ly, adverbper·il·ous·ness, nounnon·per·il·ous, adjectivenon·per·il·ous·ly, adverbun·per·il·ous, adjectiveun·per·il·ous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for perilous

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Antonyms for perilous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perilously

Contemporary Examples of perilously

Historical Examples of perilously

  • Does it strike you that this is perilously near to being gossip?

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • It was yet touch and go, however, and the breakers were perilously near.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • He filled a glass of wine and waved it perilously near the Colonel's nose.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • The invitation might be regarded as perilously near to "cheek."

  • Traverse was shocked to find how perilously his orders had been exceeded.

    Capitola's Peril

    Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth

British Dictionary definitions for perilously


  1. very hazardous or dangerousa perilous journey
Derived Formsperilously, adverbperilousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for perilously



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper