a. Imminent danger: a sign warning of the peril of falling rocks.
b. Exposure to the risk of harm or loss: in peril of losing his savings.
2. Something that endangers or involves risk: couldn't avoid the perils of the desert.
tr.v. per·iled, per·il·ing, per·ils also per·illed or per·il·ling
To expose to danger or the chance of injury; imperil.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin perīculum; see per-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.