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.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Threatening — Threat en*ing, a. & n. from {Threaten}, v. {Threat en*ing*ly}, adv. [1913 Webster] {Threatening letters} (Law), letters containing threats, especially those designed to extort money, or to obtain other property, by menaces; blackmailing letters.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • threatening — index abusive, chilling effect, dangerous, formidable, imminent, insalubrious, noxious, ominous, pending …   Law dictionary

  • threatening — [adj] menacing, ominous aggressive, alarming, apocalyptic, at hand, baleful, baneful, black, bullying, cautionary, close, comminatory, dangerous, dire, fateful, forthcoming, grim, ill boding, imminent, impendent, impending, inauspicious,… …   New thesaurus

  • threatening — threat|en|ing [ˈθretn ıŋ] adj 1.) if someone s behaviour is threatening, you believe they intend to harm you ▪ His voice sounded threatening. ▪ a threatening gesture 2.) if the sky or clouds are threatening, bad weather is likely ▪ a threatening… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • threatening — threat|en|ing [ θretnıŋ ] adjective 1. ) showing or saying that someone is likely to do something that will harm you: She s been receiving threatening phone calls. a threatening look Don t forget , he said in a low threatening voice. 2. )… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • threatening — [[t]θre̱tənɪŋ[/t]] ♦♦♦ ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n You can describe someone s behaviour as threatening, when you think that they are trying to harm you. → See also , life threatening The police could have charged them with threatening behaviour... She… …   English dictionary

  • threatening — UK [ˈθret(ə)nɪŋ] / US adjective 1) showing or saying that someone is likely to do something that will harm you a threatening look She s been receiving threatening phone calls. 2) threatening clouds, skies, or seas show that the weather is likely… …   English dictionary

  • threatening — threateningly, adv. /thret n ing/, adj. 1. tending or intended to menace: threatening gestures. 2. causing alarm, as by being imminent; ominous; sinister: threatening clouds. [1520 30; THREATEN + ING2] Syn. 2. See imminent, ominous. * * * …   Universalium

  • threatening — adj. VERBS ▪ appear, be, seem, sound ▪ become ▪ find sth ▪ regard sth as, see sth as …   Collocations dictionary

  • threatening — adjective 1 talking or behaving in a way that is intended to threaten someone: His voice sounded threatening. 2 making threats: a threatening letter threateningly adverb three /Tri:/ number 1 3 2 the three R s old fashioned used when talking… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • threatening — adjective 1) a threatening letter Syn: menacing, intimidating, bullying, frightening, hostile; formal minatory 2) banks of threatening clouds Syn: ominous, sinister, menacing, alarming, portentous, dark …   Thesaurus of popular words

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