I have encountered a phrase, that sounds quite natural to me:

puts their lives in grave danger

But I have also found two more phrases that should share a similar meaning:

  • extreme peril;
  • mortal danger.

What are the difference between those three?

  • The connotation with "mortal danger" and "grave danger", which can be intuited given the meanings of the modifying nouns, is that there's a chance the person in question could actually die. Extreme peril is less severe to my eye. Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 14:56
  • 1
    @JohnClifford Grave doesn't refer to death in this context.
    – Era
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 15:11
  • @Era guess that's just my love of double meanings tripping up my intepretation. :) Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Extreme peril and grave danger mean about the same thing. Peril and danger are synonyms. Grave here means "severe or serious": it's related to the word gravity which is used figuratively to talk about the "weight" of a situation.

Mortal danger specifically means that the person's life is at stake. Here mortal refers to death.

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