source of a potential threat
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Danger or peril is the risk of harm. The word "danger" means liability to damage, injury, loss, or pain in various forms — or the cause, or partial cause, of such liability.


  • Ay me! what perils do environ
    The man that meddles with cold iron!
  • I have not quailed to danger's brow
    When high and happy—need I now?
  • A daring pilot in extremity;
    Pleas'd with the danger, when the waves went high
    He sought the storms.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 159.
  • Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger — according to the way you react to it.
  • What a sea
    Of melting ice I walk on!
    • Philip Massinger, The Maid of Honour, (c. 1621; printed 1632), Act III, scene 3.
  • For though I am not splenitive and rash,
    Yet have I something in me dangerous.
  • We have scotched the snake, not killed it:
    She'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice
    Remains in danger of our former tooth.
  • Upon this hint I spake;
    She loved me for the dangers I had passed
    And I loved her that she did pity them.
  • He is not worthy of the honeycomb
    That shuns the hives because the bees have stings.
    • Attributed to William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Locrine (1595) III, II. 39. Shakespeare Apocrypha.
  • Passato il pericolo (or punto) gabbato il santo.
    • When the danger's past the saint is cheated.
    • François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), IV. 24. Quoted as a proverb.
  • Ay me, how many perils doe enfold
    The righteous man to make him daily fall!
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book I, Canto VIII, Stanza 1.
  • Si cadere necesse est, occurendum discrimini.
    • If we must fall, we should boldly meet the danger.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), II. 1. 33.
  • It's dangerous to have fashion and power.
    • Ralph Thomas — Collected Interviews: Voices from Twentieth-century Cinema by Wheeler W. Dixon, SIU Press, 2001, p.110
  • Qui legitis flores et humi nascentia fraga,
    Fridigus, O pueri, fugite hinc; latet anguis in herba.
    • O boys, who pluck the flowers and strawberries springing from the ground, flee hence; a cold snake lies hidden in the grass.
    • Virgil, Eclogues (c. 42 BC), III. 92.
  • Time flies, Death urges, knells call, Heaven invites,
    Hell threatens.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 291.
  • We have turned into highly dangerous beings, capable of threatening the lives of many beings and our own survival.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 158-60.
  • Anguis sub viridi herba.
    • There's a snake in the grass.
    • Francis Bacon, quoted in Essays, Of a King.
  • The wolf was sick, he vowed a monk to be;
    But when he got well, a wolf once more was he.
    • In Walter Bower's Scotichronicon (15th cent). Found in Manuscript, Black Book of Paisley in British Museum. End.
  • In summo periculo timor misericordiam non recipit.
    • In extreme danger, fear turns a deaf ear to every feeling of pity.
    • Julius Caesar, Bellum Gallicum, VII. 26.
  • Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
    • I Corinthians. X. 12.
  • Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
    • Ecclesiastes, XII. 6.
  • Quo tendis inertem
    Rex periture, fugam? Nescis heu, perdite! nescis
    Quem fugias; hostes incurris, dum fugis hostem.
    Incidis in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charybdim.
    • Where, O king, destined to perish, are you directing your unavailing flight? Alas, lost one, you know not whom you flee; you are running upon enemies, whilst you flee from your foe. You fall upon the rock Scylla desiring to avoid the whirlpool Charybdis.
    • Phillippe Gaultier de Lille ("D. Chatillon"). Alexandriad, Book V. 298. Found in the Menagiana. Ed. by Bertrand de la Monnoie. (1715). Source said to be Quintus Curtius. See Andrews—Antient and Modern Anecdotes, p. 307. (Ed. 1790). (See also Homer—Odyssey, Book XII, line 85. Merchant of Venice, III. 5).
  • For all on a razor's edge it stands.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book X, line 173. Same use in Herodotus, VI. 11. Theocritus—Idyl, XXII. 6. Theogenes. 557.
  • Periculosæ plenum opus aleæ
    Tractas, et incedis per ignes
    Suppositos cineri doloso.
    • You are dealing with a work full of dangerous hazard, and you are venturing upon fires overlaid with treacherous ashes.
    • Horace, Odes, Book II. 1. 6. The following line (authorship unknown) is sometimes added: "Si morbum fugiens incidis in medicos." [In fleeing disease you fall into the hands of the doctors.]
  • Quid quisque vitet nunquam homini satis
    Cantum est in horas.
    • Man is never watchful enough against dangers that threaten him every hour.
    • Horace, Carmina, II. 13. 13.
  • Multos in summa pericula misit
    Venturi timor ipse mali.
    • The mere apprehension of a coming evil has put many into a situation of the utmost danger.
    • Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, VII. 104.
  • 'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
    Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant,
    But over its terrible edge there had slipped
    A Duke and full many a peasant,
    So the people said something would have to be done,
    But their projects did not at all tally.
    Some said: "Put a fence round the edge of the cliff."
    Some: "An ambulance down in the valley."
    • Joseph Maunes, Fince or Ambulance. Appeared in the Virginia Health Bulletin with title Prevention and Cure.
  • Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for … the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
    • Psalms. XCI. 6.
  • Ægrotat Dæmon; monachus tunc esse volebat,
    Dæmon convaluit; Dæmon ante fuit.
    • Mediæval Latin.
    • The devil was sick, the devil a monk would be;
      The devil was well, the devil a monk was he.
    • As translation. by Urquhart and Motteux.
  • Sur un mince chrystal l'hyver conduit leurs pas,
    Telle est de nos plaisirs la legere surface,
    Glissez mortels; n'appuyez pas.
    • O'er the ice the rapid skater flies,<brWith sport above and death below,
      Where mischief lurks in gay disguise
      Thus lightly touch and quickly go.
    • Pierre Charles Roy, lines under a picture of skaters, a print of a painting by Lancret. Translation by Samuel Johnson. See Piozzi, Anecdotes.
  • Scit eum sine gloria vinci, qui sine periculo vincitur.
    • He knows that the man is overcome ingloriously, who is overcome without danger.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Providentia, III.
  • Contemptum periculorum assiduitas periclitandi dabit.
    • Constant exposure to dangers will breed contempt for them.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Providentia, IV.
  • It is no jesting with edge tools.
    • The True Tragedy of Richard III (1594) Same in Beaumont and Fletcher, Little French Lawyer, Act IV, scene 7.
  • Caret periculo qui etiam tutus cavet.
    • He is safe from danger who is on his guard even when safe.
    • Syrus, Maxims.
  • Citius venit periculum, cum contemnitur.
    • Danger comes the sooner when it is despised.
    • Syrus, Maxims.
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