pericol v. primejdie


English - British
Hi all,

Quick question. What is the difference in nuance between pericol and primejdie?

Is primejdie the more common, everyday word, and pericol the more literary or legal sounding one?

Thank you so much for any help you can give! :)
  • jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Here they write pericol is a new word taken from French, that a hundred years ago people used only primejdie.

    Here they say that pericol is an artificial word introduced in the language by people who felt the language needed to be Latinized, Frenchified or Americanized.

    I think I see the word pericol more often, but primejdie is also extremely common. I am sure, though, there are collocations in which one is favored over the other.


    Senior Member
    Of what I know, primejdie (<sl., great danger, jeopardy) is a hypernym for pericol (<lat., danger, at peril), risc/k, aggravated circumstances... .

    1. Paza bună, trece primejdia rea = Forewarned is forearmed.
    Signs warning of the peril
    2. Pericol de incendiu/electrocutare/moarte! - Fire/electrocution/deadly danger/peril...

    a) Yet, we say that persons are periculoase (dangerous), not primejdioase.

    b) On the other hand, circumstances can be both primejdioase or periculoase: You are in great peril = Ești/te afli în mare pericol or primejdie.

    And yes, both are literary. Both are in use as adjectives (periculos/primejdios) or nouns.

    Extra information.

    We also have the verbs 'a primejdui' (no longer in daily use or rare use) & 'a periclita' (in use), meaning 'to put in danger' or we use the phrase 'a pune în primejdie' such as, 'someone's life' = to put sm's life in danger.

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    mod-errare humanum est
    Highlighting something irinet mentioned already: in technical "jargon" we use Pericol (Pericol de explozie, Pericol de incendiu, în caz de Pericol, etc.) and not Primejdie - maybe because it has fewer letters or maybe because Primejdie has an archaic nuance.