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perilous adjective & adverb

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What does the word perilous mean?

There are five meanings listed in OED's entry for the word perilous , one of which is labelled obsolete. See ‘Meaning & use’ for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence.

How common is the word perilous ?

How is the word perilous pronounced, british english, u.s. english, where does the word perilous come from.

Earliest known use

Middle English

The earliest known use of the word perilous is in the Middle English period (1150—1500).

OED's earliest evidence for perilous is from around 1300, in St. Patrick's Purgatory .

perilous is a borrowing from French.

Etymons: French perillus .

Nearby entries

  • perilaryngeal, adj. 1857–
  • perilaryngitis, n. 1857
  • peril-daring, adj. 1807
  • perilenticular, adj. 1889–
  • perileptic, adj. 1678
  • Perilla, n. 1783–
  • perilla oil, n. 1889–
  • perilled | periled, adj. 1819–
  • peril-less, adj. a1618
  • perilobular, adj. 1853–
  • perilous, adj. & adv. c1300–
  • perilously, adv. 1340–
  • perilousness, n. 1571–
  • peril point, n. 1947–
  • peril-proof, adj. 1605
  • perilsome, adj. 1593–
  • perilune, n. 1960–
  • perilymph, n. 1838–
  • perilymphangial, adj. 1873–91
  • perilymphangitis, n. 1890–
  • perilymphatic, adj. 1877–

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Meaning & use

Pronunciation, compounds & derived words, entry history for perilous, adj. & adv..

perilous, adj. & adv. was revised in December 2005

perilous, adj. & adv. was last modified in September 2023

oed.com is a living text, updated every three months. Modifications may include:

  • further revisions to definitions, pronunciation, etymology, headwords, variant spellings, quotations, and dates;
  • new senses, phrases, and quotations.

Revisions and additions of this kind were last incorporated into perilous, adj. & adv. in September 2023.

Earlier versions of perilous, adj. & adv. were published in:

OED First Edition (1905)

  • Find out more

OED Second Edition (1989)

  • View perilous, adj. & adv. in Second Edition

Please submit your feedback for perilous, adj. & adv.

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Citation details

Factsheet for perilous, adj. & adv., browse entry.

Synonyms of perilous

  • as in dangerous
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Thesaurus Definition of perilous

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • treacherous
  • threatening
  • venturesome
  • jeopardizing
  • destructive
  • detrimental
  • distressing
  • deleterious
  • ultrahazardous

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

  • advantageous
  • nonhazardous
  • nonthreatening
  • unthreatening

Synonym Chooser

How is the word perilous distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of perilous are dangerous , hazardous , precarious , and risky . While all these words mean "bringing or involving the chance of loss or injury," perilous strongly implies the immediacy of danger.

When might dangerous be a better fit than perilous ?

The words dangerous and perilous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dangerous applies to something that may cause harm or loss unless dealt with carefully.

When is it sensible to use hazardous instead of perilous ?

The synonyms hazardous and perilous are sometimes interchangeable, but hazardous implies great and continuous risk of harm or failure.

When can precarious be used instead of perilous ?

While in some cases nearly identical to perilous , precarious suggests both insecurity and uncertainty.

When would risky be a good substitute for perilous ?

In some situations, the words risky and perilous are roughly equivalent. However, risky often applies to a known and accepted danger.

Thesaurus Entries Near perilous

Cite this entry.

“Perilous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/perilous. Accessed 25 Jan. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on perilous

Nglish: Translation of perilous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perilous for Arabic Speakers

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Definition of perilous adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • a perilous adventure/journey

Join our community to access the latest language learning and assessment tips from Oxford University Press!

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  • Acts and Monuments of these Latter and Perilous Days

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  • The Perils of Pauline

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Definition of 'perilous'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

perilous in American English

Perilous in british english, examples of 'perilous' in a sentence perilous, related word partners perilous, trends of perilous.

View usage over: Since Exist Last 10 years Last 50 years Last 100 years Last 300 years

In other languages perilous

  • American English : perilous / ˈpɛrɪləs /
  • Brazilian Portuguese : perigoso
  • Chinese : 险恶的
  • European Spanish : peligroso
  • French : périlleux
  • German : gefährlich
  • Italian : pericoloso
  • Japanese : 危険に満ちた
  • Korean : 매우 위험한
  • European Portuguese : perigoso
  • Spanish : peligroso
  • Thai : อันตรายมาก

Browse alphabetically perilous

  • perilla oil
  • perilous journey
  • perilous position
  • perilous sea
  • All ENGLISH words that begin with 'P'

Related terms of perilous

  • Siege Perilous
  • perilous situation
  • View more related words

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See the perilous journey migrants take to get to the U.S.

Alasdair Baverstock

definition of perilous journey

Continuing our look at the migrant crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico, and the dangers migrants face along their journeys, CGTN's Alasdair Baverstock reports now on one of the greatest perils: Those final steps to cross the border itself.  

The Rio Grande, running from El Paso, Texas, to the Atlantic Ocean, it marks more than half of the 3,000-kilometer U.S. Mexico border.

Defended with razor wire, military tanks and a floating border wall, it is also the front line of a migration crisis that saw a record two-and-a-half million undocumented migrant encounters in fiscal year 2023.

Tragedy on the Rio Grande has been an all-too-common occurrence this past year. Local migration activists here in Eagle Pass say more than 700 migrants have died in 2023 attempting to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas, along this stretch of the border.

A memorial of multiple crosses to those victims on the Texas side of the river erected by the Eagle Pass Border Coalition, a migrant advocacy group. seeks to show the magnitude of the problem.

Local sheriff Tom Schmerber is often tasked with recovering what local authorities now crudely refer to as ‘floaters.’

"We’ve seen babies, we’ve seen pregnant females. The currents take them and they end up here floating, you know, because they don't know how to swim or they can't control the currents. It’s a dangerous river," Schmerber said.

However, for migrants like Venezuelan Marlene Rivas, who crossed two days ago, the river is just one of a number of deadly threats they face on their perilous journey to get here.

"Living in Venezuela is dangerous. Crossing the Darien Gap is dangerous. Traveling through Guatemala and Mexico is dangerous," she said. "When you migrate from your country looking for a better life, you have to face everything that’s thrown at you."

For more, check out our exclusive content on  CGTN Now  and subscribe to our weekly newsletter,  The China Report .

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North Korean defectors and human right activists stage a rally in Seoul demanding Beijing release  defectors captured in China

North Korean defectors to South tripled in 2023, Seoul says

South Korea says backgrounds of recent defectors including some ‘elite class’ indicate growing discontent with regime of Kim Jong-un

The number of North Koreans who defected to South Korea tripled last year, as the easing of border closures imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic encouraged students, women and diplomats to make the perilous journey.

At 196, the number was still well below the pre-pandemic average, but South Korean authorities said the backgrounds of many recent defectors pointed to growing discontent with the regime of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un .

Defector numbers plummeted after North Korea sealed its border with China in early 2020 to prevent the virus from crippling its already inadequate healthcare system, with guards reportedly ordered to shoot suspected escapees on sight.

Just 63 people made it to the South in 2021, more than 90% down from 2019, when 1,047 arrived. The number stayed low in 2022, at just 67.

Last year’s number included 10 people who belonged to the North Korean “elite class” – the most since 2017 – according to the unification ministry in Seoul. It also included a significant number people in their 20s and 30s, while women made up about 80% of the total.

An estimated 31,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the 1950s. Most cross into China and seek new lives in the South via a third country. The number reached its peak in 2009, when 2,914 people defected, but has seen a sharp decline since Kim introduced tighter border controls after becoming leader in late 2011.

Very few people attempt to reach the South directly via the heavily armed demilitarised zone or by crossing the de facto maritime border, known as the northern limit line.

Last year, 13 defectors fled to the South by sea, the ministry said, adding that their willingness to risk their personal safety was indicative of “worsening conditions in North Korea”. All of them cited food shortages.

Ten of the recent defectors were diplomats, trade officials and students attending universities overseas. “We have confirmed last year’s defections by the elite class were the highest in recent years,” the unification ministry said.

The presence of diplomats suggests that the North’s decision last year to scale back its overseas presence had encouraged defections among officials who were disenchanted with their lives back home, having spent long periods in freer countries.

“North Korean diplomats, other officials and students based overseas were told to return last year as the pandemic situation entered a new phase,” a ministry official told the Korea Times.

“Many must have found it unacceptable after experiencing what it was like to live in the free world, knowing that the economic situation even worsened and internal controls strengthened in North Korea.”

Defections by senior officials are an embarrassment to the North Korean regime. The most high-profile defectors include Thae Yong-ho , who defected in 2016 from the post of deputy ambassador at the North’s embassy in London , declaring himself “sick and tired” of Kim’s regime. He went on to be elected to the South Korean national assembly as a member of the ruling People Power party.

Surveys of last year’s cohort found that the prospect of freedom in the democratic South and lack of food in the North were the two biggest factors. Nearly 23% said they had decided to defect after growing disillusioned with the North Korean regime, according to the Yonhap news agency, while just over 21% said they had been forced to leave by food shortages.

With Agence France-Presse

  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Asia Pacific

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The Shadowy Story of Oppenheimer and Congress

A reporter’s journey into how the u.s. funded the bomb..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Sabrina Tavernise, and this is “The Daily.”

Hollywood’s award season is officially underway.

Just the beginning of the fun and glamor of awards season.

Nominations for the Academy Awards, one of Hollywood’s biggest events, were announced today.

I think we had a Barbenheimer summer, which was —

Oh, did we?

It was so much fun. Listen, “Oppenheimer” should lead the way.

“Oppenheimer,” right now, is the movie to beat for the Oscars.

And one movie, “Oppenheimer,” about the father of the atomic bomb, topped the list with 13 nominations. The film captured the imagination of millions of people last summer, including our congressional correspondent, Catie Edmondson. Today, Catie describes how “Oppenheimer” center on a quest to find the secret story of how Congress paid for the bomb and what that reveals about the inner workings of Washington.

It’s Tuesday, January 23.

Catie, you cover Congress for “The Times,” as our listeners, of course, know. But you join us today to talk about something a little out of the ordinary — a story which many of our listeners may not immediately associate with a “Times” congressional reporter. And it has everything to do with the blockbuster movie, “Oppenheimer.” So tell us how you ended up reporting this very unusual story.

That’s right. Well, it all started, really, when I went to go see “Oppenheimer,” like I’m assuming a lot of our listeners did over the summer. I was actually working in Berlin. I thought that I would get a little break from covering Congress. I knew that there was going to be a big spending fight in the fall, and I was kind of anxious to focus on something else for a little bit.

And so I went to this movie.

We’re at war, Hans.

Which is, of course, about J. Robert Oppenheimer —

Now, let’s calculate how much more destructive it would have been if it were a nuclear and not a chemical reaction.

— and the creation of the atomic bomb —

Expressing power in terms of tons of TNT.

But it would be thousands.

Well, then kilo tons.

And the movie takes place — or a lot of it takes place — in Los Alamos —

Physics and New Mexico, huh? My god.

— which is this base that Oppenheimer and the military built up out of the desert, really, out of nothing.

This way, gentlemen.

This huge, sprawling base where scientists from across the country came to figure out how to build the bomb.

Dr. Lawrence.

They had homes for the families of the scientists there.

There’s no kitchen.

Really? I’ll fix that.

And something that I couldn’t stop thinking about while these scenes were flashing on screen was, this looks really expensive.

Did Congress approve the money for that? And if so, how much were they told? Because another big theme of this movie was that this was a very secret project, that the number of people who knew about what was really happening at Los Alamos was extremely restricted.

And so I was thinking, if that was true, how do you get Congress to approve what has to be a huge tranche of money to fund this thing? It was very much an intrusive thought that kept poking in throughout the movie.

Catie, you were in Berlin, so that you weren’t having to cover Congress. But yet, there you were. Your head was back in Congress. You can take the girl out of Congress, but —

Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing.

So then, what do you do?

Well, I kind of just assumed that if I started googling it, that I would come to some sort of quick answer. There’s been so much research and so much academic work done on this period. And I was surprised to find that there really wasn’t that much.

There were a few lines on Wikipedia. I ended up finding a textbook that gave a sort of brief version of how Congress had sort of surreptitiously approved money in a bill that was at the behest of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And as I was reading just these few kind of breadcrumbs, I just kept thinking, what do you mean? What do you mean Congress secretly passed this money and not a lot of people knew about it?

Because, look, this is my job currently, is to go through the spending bills, to look for things that are peculiar. I also know that lawmakers are really bad at keeping secrets, generally. And so the idea that this happened — this huge secret was smuggled through Congress without really anyone knowing — it just — I just didn’t see how that could be true.

And this is not just some dumb bridge or a road or something, right? It was a whole different scale. Like, it was ushering in the dawn of the Atomic Age.

Well, that’s right. And beyond the implications of the creation of this weapon of mass destruction, there’s also the cost, right? The amount of money that Congress ultimately was asked to pass secretly was $800 million for this project, which, in today’s money, is about $13 billion.

And so every time I picked up on another little breadcrumb like this, I just became more incredulous, essentially. I wanted to understand even more how they were able to pull this off. And so I pitched to my editor, well, why don’t I do — like, it’ll be a fun, historical memo that I’ll write about this. And she agreed to let me do that. And so that really set off this kind of obsessive search to figure out the answer of exactly how Congress was able to secretly pass $800 million for the atomic bomb.

Catie, I love your nerdiness. So what did that obsessive search look like? Where did you start?

Well, at this point, I was back in DC. I had come back from Berlin. And this ended up becoming very much a side project, because there was actually a lot of spending drama happening here in DC in real time that I was having to cover.

[CHUCKLING]: Of course.

But it took me through the digital archives of a lot of different libraries, former President Roosevelt’s archives. And so it just kept happening that you would get close to some sort of answer, some sort of document that seemed like it would unlock the secret of this. And you would get a few pieces.

But I was particularly obsessed with trying to get the account of one of the lawmakers who was physically in the room when these discussions were happening, who was in the room when the decision was made. Because to me, that was just going to give me the most direct, the sharpest perspective of exactly how this worked.

So I had a list of the seven lawmakers who were brought into this secret. I knew that one of the lawmakers in one of these secret meetings was Sam Rayburn, who was the Speaker of the House at the time in 1944, considered one of the most famous, one of the most legendary House speakers of all time. And so I contacted the library where his papers are kept in Austin, Texas. And I found out that those documents have not been digitized. They were sitting in folders in boxes.

And so — and so I struck up an acquaintance with a reference intern there, a very intrepid man named Dion Kauffman, who — I’m so indebted to him for this, because I kept saying, well, what about this folder and what about that folder? And he would go, and he would look. And it just did not yield anything. But at least I could sort of rest, knowing that someone had physically paged through those folders.

So I was still looking for a lawmaker in the room. And then, I found that one of them was Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, who had been invited to a secret briefing in the Senate about this whole gambit, had actually written a memoir.

OK, so I’ve never heard of Elmer Thomas from Oklahoma or of his memoir. How bad is that?

No, it’s not. I hadn’t either. But it turns out he was actually a pretty important guy on Capitol Hill at the time when this all happened. He was the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversaw military spending. And so he was one of just a few lawmakers who were brought into this secret. And it turns out his memoir, “40 Years a Legislator,” perhaps unsurprisingly, was not in wide circulation.

[CHUCKLES]: Really?

But I did learn that there was a copy, actually, at the Library of Congress. So I got my Library of Congress library card.

[CHUCKLES]: Catie.

And on a quiet day, I went over — there are actually tunnels that connect the Capitol building to the Library of Congress. I kept getting lost. And so around the third time that I was trying to find the room where this book was, I was thinking, this is a lot of time now that I’m spending on this book that —

Your editor is basically tapping her foot.

— yeah, may or may not be helpful. But I finally got the book.

I opened it up, and it was all there.

We’ll be right back.

So Catie, what was the story you ultimately pieced together? I mean, how did they hide the building of the atomic bomb in the budget?

So here’s what I learned. Initially, the way that Roosevelt officials were getting the money for the research to create the bomb was they were actually just taking money that Congress had appropriated under different line items, and they were funneling it to the Manhattan Project.

Got it. So skimming from other things, basically.

Yeah, that’s right. But by 1944, looking through the documents, it became very clear that Roosevelt himself as well as his top officials were growing very anxious about the idea of Nazi Germany maybe beating us to creating the atomic bomb. I came across this memo from FDR to Vannevar Bush, who, at that time, was overseeing the administration of the Manhattan Project. And it was just one line. And he wrote, “Do you have the money? FDR.”

So the administration essentially realizes Germany’s close to getting the bomb. So time for some major money. Do you have it? That means Congress.

Exactly. Only Congress has the power of the purse. And so they decided, we have to ask Congress for a big infusion of cash now. So that also means we have to tell members of Congress that we’re doing this, right? We have to let them in on the secret.

And so Roosevelt gives the word to — really, his point man on this was Henry L. Stimson, who was then the Secretary of War. And he says, I need you to tell a very small group of lawmakers exactly what’s happening here. I need you to get them to agree to pass this money, and crucially, I need you to get them to keep it a secret.

And so Stimson heads up to Capitol Hill. He has two separate secret meetings — one in the House, one in the Senate. In one particular meeting in the House, he actually brings George Marshall, the incredibly famous general, to the meeting to impress upon lawmakers just the seriousness of what he is asking them to do. And we know from Senator Elmer Thomas’s memoir what their pitch was.

He writes that he received a call from the Senate Majority Leader saying, I’m inviting you to this secret meeting. You need to come to my office in an hour. You cannot tell anyone where you are going or that you are going to a meeting at all. Keep it under wraps.

So Elmer Thomas goes an hour later to the Senate Majority Leader’s office. It’s just him, a couple other senators, and the war secretary and a couple of his officers. And in the meeting, Henry Stimson, the war secretary, tells these senators that the United States has been working on creating a bomb that can, quote, “do as much damage as 10,000 tons of any explosive known at that time.” And he writes that he recalls Stimson saying that the Germans are working on a weapon just like this and that whoever is able to create this weapon first is going to win the war.

Wow. And so what does Elmer Thomas think about this? What does he say?

Well, he writes in his memoir this was something that absolutely floored him. And so the impression that Thomas and the other senators get is that this is absolutely something that must be done, that must be kept a secret, and that they are going to go to any lengths that they can to pass this money.

OK, so this tiny group of lawmakers in Congress agreed to secretly fund this project. But I guess the question remains, how do you do that? How do you hide it?

Well, this is maybe my favorite part of the entire story, and it’s something that Elmer Thomas’s memoir — again, I love — I love Elmer Thomas now and this memoir — that he let us in on the secret, which is that they hid it, essentially, in an innocuous-sounding line item. I wasn’t able to find a copy of the bill, but I did find a report from the hearing where they considered the bill.

And when you look through all of the different line items for this spending bill, I mean, they had the horses that they were going to use over in Italy, horses and donkeys. And then, there was this one line item that said, “expediting production.” And that was the shell that they used to conceal this $800 million for the bomb — “expediting production.”

So that’s some pretty bland language. I mean, it sounds like a good disguise, right?

You can completely see why it would not have raised any eyebrows. At the time, there was a short description in that hearing report that said, well, this is a line item intended to speed munitions to our boys in Europe to make sure that we’re using the most modern weapons on the battlefield possible, which is a huge understatement when you know what was actually hidden there.

Right. So Catie, did anybody notice it?

Well, there were a few close calls, and one of them that was probably the most amusing to me actually came through in the form of an anecdote told by former Speaker Sam Rayburn, who told this story to a historian at his home in Texas many years after the fact. He said that he was walking around one day shortly after that secret meeting with the war secretary where the lawmakers all agreed to hide this money, and that he saw one of the congressmen who had been in that meeting talk to a reporter. And he said the Congressman, when I saw him, looked funny.

At least in Rayburn’s interpretation, the Congressman had been leaking the contents of this secret meeting to the newspapermen.

And what does he do?

Well, so Rayburn goes up to the newspaperman, and he said — and this is what Rayburn recalled — he went up to the newspaperman and said, “You are a good American, aren’t you? You love your country?” The newspaperman said, “Of course.” Rayburn said, “Then don’t print anything about what he just told you.”

Wow. So the newspaperman caves. Right? How do you understand what happened here?

Well, I think you also have to understand the context of this time period, right? The United States was in this protracted war with Germany and with Japan. It was a time period where I think everyone, including the press, were being expected to rally around the flag, to support our troops. And so I think he was just let into a secret of the highest national security in a hallway by one member of Congress, only to be then abruptly headed off by the very powerful speaker of the House, who appeals to his sense of patriotism.

But I mean, this would have been an enormously difficult decision. I mean, if I were that reporter, now, this would be something that I would escalate up to our highest editors and probably would be the subject of a really fierce debate at our newspaper.

So it sounds like it was no small feat to keep this thing under wraps — until, of course, it wasn’t a secret, and the whole world learned of the US atomic program in shocking detail when the United States dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. What was it like, Catie, to be doing this congressional historical sleuthing, uncovering all of this maneuvering in the 1940s, while, at the same time, covering Congress over the past year? Any conclusions you draw from the comparison?

Well, since the story has come out, the question that I’ve gotten from a lot of readers is — and I think this is what you’re driving at — could something like this happen today? Could a few members of Congress today hide some sort of big program or top secret activity within the spending bills? And I found a number of interviews from some of the participants in the Manhattan Project that were done years after we bombed Hiroshima.

And the answer they gave was that they didn’t think it would be possible to hide a program or a project of that magnitude outside the context of a huge war at a time when there was this sense of patriotism among so many people. But look, I currently cover federal spending, and I do read through the spending bills that are passed into law. And these are bills that are typically hundreds, if not thousands, of pages long.

They are written in extremely archaic, dense legislative language. And I look through, trying to see if there’s any programs that seem peculiar or strange or warrant sort of greater investigation as to what they’re doing in that spending bill. But the phrase, “expediting production”— I mean, it’s so innocuous. If I were a reporter back in 1944, combing through that bill, I don’t think it would have caused me to raise any eyebrows. I think I would have read it and thought, yeah, that makes sense. Of course, we’re trying to send weapons more quickly over to Europe. And so I do think the moral of that story, if there is one, is that just a few lawmakers can hide something like this if there’s the will to do so.

Catie, thank you.

Thank you, Sabrina.

Here’s what else you should know today. On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration, allowing federal authorities to cut or remove parts of a concertina wire barrier along the Mexican border that Texas erected to keep migrants from crossing into the state.

The ruling, by a 5-to-4 vote, was a temporary measure that lifted a lower court’s ban on removing the wire while it considered the case. The justices gave no reason for their decision, which is typical when they act on such emergency applications. The ruling was a victory for the Biden administration in the increasingly bitter dispute between the White House and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, an outspoken critic of President Biden’s border policy.

Today’s episode was produced by Rob Szypko and Rikki Novetsky. It was edited by Marc Georges and Lexie Diao, contains original music by Rowan Niemisto, Dan Powell, and Marion Lozano, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. See you tomorrow.

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  • January 24, 2024   •   25:50 Why the G.O.P. Nomination Fight Is Now (All But) Over
  • January 23, 2024   •   21:49 The Shadowy Story of Oppenheimer and Congress
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  • January 19, 2024   •   26:44 The Fishermen Who Could End Federal Regulation as We Know It
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  • January 12, 2024   •   40:53 In Iowa, Two Friends Debate DeSantis vs. Trump
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  • January 10, 2024   •   27:40 Trump’s Case for Total Immunity
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Hosted by Sabrina Tavernise

Featuring Catie Edmondson

Produced by Rob Szypko and Rikki Novetsky

Edited by Marc Georges and Lexie Diao

Original music by Rowan Niemisto ,  Dan Powell and Marion Lozano

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

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Nominations for the Oscars are announced on Tuesday and “Oppenheimer,” a film about the father of the atomic bomb, is expected to be among the front-runners.

Catie Edmondson, a congressional correspondent for The Times, explains how the film sent her on a quest to find the secret story of how Congress paid for the bomb, and what it reveals about the inner workings of Washington.

On today’s episode

definition of perilous journey

Catie Edmondson , a congressional correspondent for The New York Times.

In a black and white photograph, a large bomb is being transported on a carriage. Two men sit next to it.

Background reading

Watching “Oppenheimer,” a journalist wondered: How did the president get the $2 billion secret project past Congress?

What to expect from the Oscar nominations.

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Catie Edmondson covers Congress for The Times. More about Catie Edmondson


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Antonym and example, perilous | american thesaurus.


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  1. The Perilous Journey: A Short Story

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  1. Perilous Definition & Meaning

    : full of or involving peril a perilous journey perilously adverb perilousness noun Synonyms dangerous grave grievous hazardous jeopardizing menacing parlous risky serious threatening unhealthy unsafe venturesome See all Synonyms & Antonyms in Thesaurus Choose the Right Synonym for perilous

  2. PERILOUS JOURNEY definition in American English

    countable noun When you make a journey, you travel from one place to another. Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers Definition of 'perilous' perilous (perɪləs ) adjective Something that is perilous is very dangerous . [literary] perilously adverb [ADVERB after verb, ADVERB adjective]

  3. Perilous

    /ˈpɛrələs/ /ˈpɛrɪlɪs/ IPA guide Something that is dangerous or very risky can be described with the adjective perilous. If you are driving in a blizzard, you may kick yourself for making such a perilous journey. The adjective perilous comes from the Latin word periculum, meaning dangerous.

  4. PERILOUS Definition & Usage Examples

    1 First recorded in 1250-1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French perillous, from Latin perīculōsus; see peril, -ous Other words for perilous risky, unsafe See synonyms for perilous on Thesaurus.com Opposites for perilous nonhazardous, protected, safe See antonyms for perilous on Thesaurus.com Other words from perilous per·il·ous·ly, adverb

  5. PERILOUS JOURNEY definition and meaning

    countable noun When you make a journey, you travel from one place to another. Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers Definition of 'perilous' perilous (perɪləs ) adjective Something that is perilous is very dangerous . [literary] perilously adverb [ADVERB after verb, ADVERB adjective]

  6. perilous journey collocation

    adjective uk / ˈper. ə l.əs / us / ˈper. ə l.əs / extremely ... See more at perilous journey noun [C] uk / ˈdʒɜː.ni / us / ˈdʒɝː.ni / the act of travelling from one place to another, especially in ... See more at journey (Definition of perilous and journey from the Cambridge English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

  7. Perilous Definition & Meaning

    a perilous journey across the mountains The climb was perilous. — perilously adverb He leaned perilously over the edge of the boat. She came perilously close to drowning. [=she almost drowned] The company was perilously close to bankruptcy. PERILOUS meaning: full of danger dangerous

  8. PERILOUS definition and meaning

    a perilous journey Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers Derived forms perilously (ˈperilously) adverb perilousness (ˈperilousness) noun Word Frequency perilous in American English (ˈpɛrələs ) adjective involving peril or risk; dangerous Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition.

  9. perilous adjective

    Definition of perilous adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary perilous adjective. adjective. NAmE / / ˈpɛrələs / / (formal or literary) jump to other results. very dangerous synonym hazardous a perilous adventure/journey. Definitions on the go. Look up any word in the dictionary offline, anytime, ...


    adjective formal us / ˈper. ə l.əs / uk / ˈper. ə l.əs / Add to word list Add to word list extremely dangerous: The country roads are quite perilous. Synonyms dangerous hazardous high-risk risky Thesaurus: synonyms, antonyms, and examples able to harm you dangerous It's dangerous to walk alone in the woods at night.

  11. Perilous

    adj. involving grave risk or peril; hazardous; dangerous: a perilous sea voyage. [1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French perillous < Latin perīculōsus. See peril, -ous] per′il•ous•ly, adv. per′il•ous•ness, n. Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc.

  12. perilous, adj. & adv. meanings, etymology and more

    The earliest known use of the word perilous is in the Middle English period (1150—1500). OED's earliest evidence for perilous is from around 1300, in St. Patrick's Purgatory. perilous is a borrowing from French. Etymons: French perillus.

  13. perilous

    safe. Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers:: perilous /ˈpɛrɪləs/ adj very hazardous or dangerous: a perilous journey ˈperilously adv ˈperilousness n 'perilous' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):

  14. PERILOUS Synonyms: 66 Similar and Opposite Words

    adjective Definition of perilous as in dangerous involving potential loss or injury a perilous journey through hostile territory Synonyms & Similar Words Relevance dangerous hazardous risky serious precarious unsafe treacherous menacing threatening unhealthy grave parlous grievous venturesome uncertain fatal random jeopardizing unpleasant


    adjective formal uk / ˈper. ə l.əs / us / ˈper. ə l.əs / Add to word list extremely dangerous: The country roads are quite perilous. Synonyms dangerous hazardous high-risk risky Thesaurus: synonyms, antonyms, and examples able to harm you dangerous It's dangerous to walk alone in the woods at night. unsafe Don't play in the street - it's unsafe.

  16. Perilous

    Definition of PERILOUS. : full of danger : DANGEROUS. a perilous journey across the mountains. The climb was perilous. — perilously adverb. He leaned perilously over the edge of the boat. She came perilously close to drowning. [=she almost drowned] The company was perilously close to bankruptcy.

  17. perilous adjective

    (formal or literary) very dangerous synonym hazardous a perilous adventure/journey Topics Danger c2 Oxford Collocations Dictionary Word Origin Definitions on the go Look up any word in the dictionary offline, anytime, anywhere with the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary app. See perilous in the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


    PERILOUS definition: very dangerous: . Learn more. {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{#message}}

  19. Perilous journey definition and meaning

    Perilous journey definition based on common meanings and most popular ways to define words related to perilous journey.

  20. PERILOUS definition in American English

    adverb perilousness (ˈperilousness) noun Word origin OFr perilleus < L periculosus Word Frequency perilous in American English (ˈperələs) adjective involving or full of grave risk or peril; hazardous; dangerous a perilous voyage across the Atlantic in a small boat SYNONYMS risky. ANTONYMS safe.

  21. See the perilous journey migrants take to get to the U.S.

    However, for migrants like Venezuelan Marlene Rivas, who crossed two days ago, the river is just one of a number of deadly threats they face on their perilous journey to get here. "Living in Venezuela is dangerous. Crossing the Darien Gap is dangerous. Traveling through Guatemala and Mexico is dangerous," she said.

  22. North Korean defectors to South tripled in 2023, Seoul says

    North Korean defectors and human right activists stage a rally in Seoul demanding Beijing release defectors captured in China. The number of North Korean defectors tripled last year, South Korea says.

  23. The Shadowy Story of Oppenheimer and Congress

    A reporter's journey into how the U.S. funded the bomb. 2024-01-23T06:00:13-05:00. This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers ...


    A perilous journey through the mountains was their only escape route. Synonyms and examples dangerous It's dangerous to walk alone in the woods at night. unsafe Don't play in the street - it's unsafe. hazardous Heavy rain is causing hazardous driving conditions. treacherous Ice had made the roads treacherous. harmful

  25. PERILOUS Definition & Usage Examples

    Perilous definition: involving or full of grave risk or peril; hazardous; dangerous. See examples of PERILOUS used in a sentence.

  26. Seanad debates wording of definition of family

    The Seanad is debating the wording of the 39th Amendment, dealing with the definition of family and which could finish its Oireachtas journey today, it if passes without any changes.

  27. perilous

    A perilous journey through the mountains was their only escape route. Synonyms and examples dangerous It's dangerous to walk alone in the woods at night. unsafe Don't play in the street - it's unsafe. hazardous Heavy rain is causing hazardous driving conditions. treacherous Ice had made the roads treacherous. harmful