Threaten
Threaten Threat"en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Threatened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Threatening}.] [OE. [thorn]retenen. See {Threat}, v. t.] 1. To utter threats against; to menace; to inspire with apprehension; to alarm, or attempt to alarm, as with the promise of something evil or disagreeable; to warn. [1913 Webster]

Let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. --Acts iv. 17. [1913 Webster]

2. To exhibit the appearance of (something evil or unpleasant) as approaching; to indicate as impending; to announce the conditional infliction of; as, to threaten war; to threaten death. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The skies look grimly And threaten present blusters. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To menace.

Usage: {Threaten}, {Menace}. Threaten is Anglo-Saxon, and menace is Latin. As often happens, the former is the more familiar term; the latter is more employed in formal style. We are threatened with a drought; the country is menaced with war. [1913 Webster]

By turns put on the suppliant and the lord: Threatened this moment, and the next implored. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

Of the sharp ax Regardless, that o'er his devoted head Hangs menacing. --Somerville. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • threaten — threaten, menace both mean to announce or forecast (as by word or look) an impending or probable infliction (as an evil or an injury). Threaten basically implies an attempt to dissuade or influence by promising punishment or the infliction of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • threaten — [thret′ n] vt. [ME thretnen < OE threatnian] 1. a) to make threats against; express one s intention of hurting, punishing, etc. b) to express intention to inflict (punishment, reprisal, etc.) 2. a) to indicate the likely occurrence of… …   English World dictionary

  • Threaten — Threat en, v. i. To use threats, or menaces; also, to have a threatening appearance. [1913 Webster] Though the seas threaten, they are merciful. Shak. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • threaten — [v1] warn, pressure abuse, admonish, augur, blackmail, bluster, browbeat, bully, caution, comminate, cow, enforce, flex muscles*, forebode, forewarn, fulminate, growl, intimidate, look daggers*, make threat, menace, portend, presage, pressurize,… …   New thesaurus

  • threaten — I verb admonish, augur, be near at hand, blackmail, bode, browbeat, coerce, comminari, comminate, forebode, foreshadow, forewarn, frighten, fulminate, hector, intimidate, menace, portend, presage, terrorize, use threats II index bait (harass),… …   Law dictionary

  • threaten — O.E. þreatnian (see THREAT (Cf. threat)). Related: Threatened. Threatening in the sense of portending no good is recorded from 1520s …   Etymology dictionary

  • threaten — ► VERB 1) make or express a threat to (someone) or to do (something). 2) put at risk; endanger. 3) (of a situation or the weather) seem likely to produce (an unwelcome result). DERIVATIVES threatening adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • threaten */*/*/ — UK [ˈθret(ə)n] / US verb Word forms threaten : present tense I/you/we/they threaten he/she/it threatens present participle threatening past tense threatened past participle threatened 1) a) [transitive] to tell someone that you might or you will… …   English dictionary

  • threaten — threat|en [ θretn ] verb *** 1. ) transitive to tell someone that you might or you will cause them harm, especially in order to make them do something: He s been threatening me for months. threaten to do something: The terrorists are threatening… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • threaten — / Tretn/ verb 1 (T) to say that you will cause someone pain, unhappiness, or trouble if they do not do what you want: threaten to do sth: Every time they quarrel, Jan threatens to leave. | threaten sb with sth: We were threatened with the sack if …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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