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[men-is] /ˈmɛn ɪs/
something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.; a threat:
Air pollution is a menace to health.
a person whose actions, attitudes, or ideas are considered dangerous or harmful:
When he gets behind the wheel of a car, he's a real menace.
an extremely annoying person.
verb (used with object), menaced, menacing.
to utter or direct a threat against; threaten.
to serve as a probable threat to; imperil.
verb (used without object), menaced, menacing.
to express or serve as a threat.
Origin of menace
1250-1300; Middle English < Middle French < Latin minācia, equivalent to mināc- (stem of mināx) jutting out, threatening + -ia -ia
Related forms
menacer, noun
menacingly, adverb
nonmenacing, adjective
premenace, noun, verb (used with object), premenaced, premenacing.
unmenaced, adjective
unmenacing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for menaced
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When a tribe was menaced with an attack, war-parties were formed to meet it in much the same manner.

    Ancient Society Lewis Henry Morgan
  • She he loved was sad, was poor, was menaced by many ills; then she needed a champion.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • They treated him with a pale, dignified, high-minded respect that menaced his pocket-book and possessions.

    The Sport of the Gods Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • The danger that menaced them was certainly great to make this step necessary.

    The Riflemen of the Miami Edward S. Ellis
  • Washington was not menaced again, and the Sixth Corps was sent back to Petersburg to resume its place in the line of investment.

    Our Standard-Bearer Oliver Optic
  • She told them how Harby was menaced; she told them what she meant to do.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • During these years Ferdinand had also been menaced by the secret or open hostility of France.

  • He advises an inquirer what to do when menaced by religious persecutions.

  • As we were making our way an immense painter so menaced us that we were forced to fire our guns to dispatch him.

    Crooked Trails Frederic Remington
British Dictionary definitions for menaced


to threaten with violence, danger, etc
(literary) a threat or the act of threatening
something menacing; a source of danger
(informal) a nuisance
Derived Forms
menacer, noun
menacing, adjective
menacingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: ultimately related to Latin minax threatening, from mināri to threaten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for menaced



c.1300, "declaration of hostile intent," also "act of threatening," from Old French menace "menace, threat" (9c.), from Vulgar Latin minacia "threat, menace" (also source of Spanish amenaza, Italian minaccia), singular of Latin minaciæ "threatening things," from minax (genitive minacis) "threatening," from minari "threaten, jut, project," from minæ "threats, projecting points," from PIE root *men- (2) "to project." Applied to persons from 1936.


c.1300, from Old French menacer "threaten, urge" (11c.), Anglo-French manasser, from Vulgar Latin *minaciare "to threaten," from minacia (see menace (n.)). Related: Menaced; menacing.



c.1300, from Old French menacer "threaten, urge" (11c.), Anglo-French manasser, from Vulgar Latin *minaciare "to threaten," from minacia (see menace (n.)). Related: Menaced; menacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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