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From Latin periculum. Doublet of peril.


periculum (plural pericula)

  1. (law) accident or casus, as distinguished from dolus and culpa, and hence relieving one from the duty of performing an obligation

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “periculum”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)


Alternative forms[edit]


From *perīrī, from Proto-Italic *perītlom, a base derived from Proto-Indo-European *per- (to attempt, try, research, risk) (see also English fear, Dutch gevaar (danger, risk, peril), German Gefahr (danger, risk, hazard), Swedish fara (danger, risk, peril)) +‎ -culum. Also related to experior.



perīculum n (genitive perīculī); second declension

  1. trial, experiment, attempt, proof, essay
  2. risk, hazard, danger, peril
  3. ruin, destruction
  4. (law) trial, action, suit
  5. writ of judgment or judgement, sentence
  6. (attack of) sickness


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative perīculum perīcula
Genitive perīculī perīculōrum
Dative perīculō perīculīs
Accusative perīculum perīcula
Ablative perīculō perīculīs
Vocative perīculum perīcula


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • periculum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • periculum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • periculum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • periculum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to run a risk; to tempt Providence: fortunam periclitari (periculum facere)
    • to be in danger: in periculo esse or versari
    • to find oneself in a hazardous position: in pericula incidere, incurrere
    • dangers threaten a man: pericula alicui impendent, imminent
    • many dangers hem a person in; one meets new risks at every turn: pericula in or ad aliquem redundant
    • to incur danger, risk: pericula subire, adire, suscipere
    • to expose oneself to peril: periculis se offerre
    • to endanger, imperil a person or thing: aliquem, aliquid in periculum (discrimen) adducere, vocare
    • to endanger, imperil a person or thing: alicui periculum creare, conflare
    • to recklessly hazard one's life: in periculum capitis, in discrimen vitae se inferre
    • at the critical moment: in ipso periculi discrimine
    • to rescue from peril: aliquem ex periculo eripere, servare
    • to avoid no risk in order to..: nullum periculum recusare pro
    • to surmount dangers: periculis perfungi
    • to make trial of; to risk: periculum facere alicuius rei
    • to try one's strength with the enemy; to try issue of battle: periculum hostis facere
    • the position is critical: res est in periculo, in summo discrimine
  • periculum in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016