March 25, 2013
peril (noun)
\PAIR-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the state of being in danger of injury, loss, or destruction2 : something that presents immediate danger
How do you use it?
"You were never in such peril of your life as you have been within these few moments."
Are you a word wiz?

"Peril" is a word often used by writers in stories about danger and courage. What famous author do you think wrote the sentence using "peril" that we have quoted in our example?

It was Charles Dickens who penned our quotation, choosing "peril" to get across his meaning. But "peril" has some synonyms you might like to try, among them "hazard" and "risk." You can use "peril" to suggest an immediate danger and a cause for fear (as in, "many lives in peril during the storm"). Try "hazard" to get across the idea of danger from something beyond a person's control (such as in, "aware of the hazards of fire fighting"). "Risk" is a good choice to suggest a danger that occurs from taking chances freely (for example, "heedless of the risks involved in exploring unknown caves").
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