peril

If you realize mid-climb that your rock climbing rope is frayed, you might be in peril. The word peril means imminent danger to life and limb.

Peril comes from the Latin peric(u)lum, meaning danger. Today it's often used in tandem with the word mortal, which relates to death. For example, you're in mortal peril when you're flying down a cliff-side trail on your mountain bike and you hit loose gravel. Peril can also describe dangers of a less physical sort, though it's less common. If your employer sinks your 401K into what turns out to be a Ponzi scheme, he's put your retirement in peril.

Definitions of peril
  1. noun
    a state of danger involving risk
    synonyms: riskiness
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    types:
    speculativeness
    financial risk
    type of:
    danger
    the condition of being susceptible to harm or injury
  2. noun
    a source of danger; a possibility of incurring loss or misfortune
    synonyms: endangerment, hazard, jeopardy, risk
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    types:
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    health hazard
    hazard to the health of those exposed to it
    moral hazard
    (economics) the lack of any incentive to guard against a risk when you are protected against it (as by insurance)
    occupational hazard
    any condition of a job that can result in illness or injury
    sword of Damocles
    a constant and imminent peril
    biohazard
    hazard to humans or the environment resulting from biological agents or conditions
    type of:
    danger
    a cause of pain or injury or loss
  3. noun
    a venture undertaken without regard to possible loss or injury
    synonyms: danger, risk
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    chance
    a risk involving danger
    crapshoot
    a risky and uncertain venture
    gamble
    a risky act or venture
    long shot
    a venture that involves great risk but promises great rewards
    raise
    increasing the size of a bet (as in poker)
    type of:
    venture
    any venturesome undertaking especially one with an uncertain outcome
  4. verb
    pose a threat to; present a danger to
    synonyms: endanger, imperil, jeopardise, jeopardize, menace, threaten
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    type of:
    be, exist
    have an existence, be extant
  5. verb
    put in a dangerous, disadvantageous, or difficult position
    synonyms: endanger, expose, queer, scupper
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    types:
    compromise
    expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute
    type of:
    affect, bear on, bear upon, impact, touch, touch on
    have an effect upon
Word Family