AskDefine | Define perilous

Dictionary Definition

perilous adj : fraught with danger; "dangerous waters"; "a parlous journey on stormy seas"; "a perilous voyage across the Atlantic in a small boat"; "the precarious life of an undersea diver"; "dangerous surgery followed by a touch-and-go recovery" [syn: parlous, precarious, touch-and-go]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈper.ɪ.ləs/, /"per.I.l@s/


  1. Dangerous, full of peril.

Related terms


Dangerous, full of peril

Extensive Definition

In Arthurian legend, the Siege Perilous (also known as The Perilous Seat) is a vacant seat at the Round Table reserved by Merlin for the knight who would one day be successful in the quest for the Holy Grail. This knight is either Perceval or Sir Galahad, depending on the version of the story. The Siege Perilous is so strictly reserved that it is fatal to anyone else who sits in it.
In Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, the newly knighted Sir Galahad takes the seat in Camelot on Whitsunday, 454 years after the death of Jesus.
Another version of this story is related in Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King.
perilous in Modern Greek (1453-): Επικίνδυνη Θέση
perilous in Spanish: Asiento peligroso
perilous in French: Siège périlleux

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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