involving or full of grave risk or peril; hazardous; dangerous: a perilous voyage across the Atlantic in a small boat.

Nearby words

  1. peril point,
  2. perilabyrinthitis,
  3. perilaryngitis,
  4. perilla,
  5. perilla oil,
  6. perilously,
  7. perilune,
  8. perilymph,
  9. perilymphangitis,
  10. perilymphatic

Origin of perilous

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French perillous < Latin perīculōsus. See peril, -ous

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perilously

British Dictionary definitions for perilously



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