dangerous


dangerous
dangerous, hazardous, precarious, perilous, risky all mean attended by or involving the possibility of loss, evil, injury, harm; however, they are frequently not freely interchangeable in usage.
Dangerous applies to persons, things, or situations that should be avoided or treated with exceeding care because contact with them or use of them is unsafe and exposes one or causes one to expose others at least to danger
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a dangerous weapon

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a dangerous occupation

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a dangerous practice

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a dangerous doctrine

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conditions dangerous to health

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the child discovers that grown-ups lie to him, and that it is dangerous to tell them the truth— Russell

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a wide circuit must be made to avoid a fierce and dangerous tribe called Snake Indians— Parkman

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Hazardous carries a far stronger implication of dependence on chance than dangerous carries: it is often the preferred term when the chances of loss, death, or severe injury are comparatively great; thus, a hazardous occupation (especially from the point of view of insurability) is one in which the worker must run significantly greater than average risks of accident or loss of life; a hazardous enterprise is one which has as many (if not more) chances of failing as of succeeding
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no one should be deluded into believing that we can ever have completely assured lives. Living is a hazardous business at the best— Furnas

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the hazardous game of secret service in enemy country— Alexander Forbes

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Precarious is often used inaccurately where dangerous or even hazardous would be the better word. The basic meaning of this word is uncertain or insecure: therefore, it may be used without implication of threatened danger or of possible hazards; in strict use precarious health is uncertain health rather than a physical condition threatening death; a precarious occupation is one that may be neither dangerous nor hazardous but uncertain (as in its tenure or remunerativeness)
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whoever supposes that Lady Austen's fortune is precarious is mistaken. . . . It is . . . perfectly safe— Cowper

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a National Church in the early Caroline sense depended upon the precarious harmony of the king, a strong archbishop, and a strong first minister— T. S. Eliot

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The term often carries also an implication of attendance by danger or hazards especially as a factor in or source of insecurity or uncertainty; thus, a precarious hold or footing is one that is so insecure that it involves danger
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the precarious track through the morass— Scott

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keeping a precarious and vital balance, like a man walking on high on a tightrope— Montague

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Perilous carries a stronger implication of the immediacy of a threatened evil than dangerous
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after all their intolerable toils, the sounding tumult of battle, and perilous sea-paths, resting there . . . amid the epitaphs and allegorical figures of their tombs— L. P. Smith

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we all know how perilous it is to suggest to the modern woman that she has any "sphere"— Babbitt

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Risky comes close to perilous in suggesting high possibility of harm or loss, but it is usually applied to an action or activity which a person undertakes voluntarily and often with knowledge of the perils or risks to which it exposes him
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undertake a risky job

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make a risky investment

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so risky was travel that the Indiana legislature specifically permitted travelers to carry concealed weapons— Sandburg

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Analogous words: unsafe, insecure (see affirmative adjectives at SAFE): chancy, chance, haphazard, *random, hit-or-miss
Antonyms: safe, secure

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Dangerous — Dan ger*ous, a. [OE., haughty, difficult, dangerous, fr. OF. dangereus, F. dangereux. See {Danger}.] 1. Attended or beset with danger; full of risk; perilous; hazardous; unsafe. [1913 Webster] Our troops set forth to morrow; stay with us; The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dangerous — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término Dangerous puede hacer referencia a: Dangerous , canción de M. Pokora con Timbaland y Sebastian, del álbum MP3; Dangerous , cuarto álbum de estudio de Michael Jackson; Dangerous (canción) Canción de Michael …   Wikipedia Español

  • Dangerous — (engl.: gefährlich) bezeichnet: Dangerous (Album), Album von Michael Jackson (1991) Dangerous (Film), US amerikanisches Filmdrama von Alfred E. Green (1935) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrere …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dangerous — early 13c., difficult, arrogant, severe (the opposite of affable), from Anglo Fr. dangerous, O.Fr. dangeros (12c., Mod.Fr. dangereux), from danger (see DANGER (Cf. danger)). In Chaucer, it means hard to please, reluctant to give; sense of full of …   Etymology dictionary

  • dangerous — [adj] hazardous, troubling alarming, bad, breakneck*, chancy, critical, dangersome, deadly, delicate, dynamite, exposed, fatal, formidable, hairy*, heavy*, hot*, impending, impregnable, insecure, jeopardous, loaded, malignant, menacing, mortal,… …   New thesaurus

  • dangerous — ► ADJECTIVE 1) likely to cause harm. 2) likely to cause problems. DERIVATIVES dangerously adverb dangerousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • dangerous — [dān′jərəs] adj. [ME < OFr dangereus] full of danger; likely to cause injury, pain, etc.; unsafe; perilous dangerously adv. dangerousness n …   English World dictionary


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