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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for menaced
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The attitude in which he rested his menaced eyes was profoundly meditative.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • He was menaced by this thing in the very sources of his existence.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Out of his puniness and fright he challenged and menaced the whole wide world.

    White Fang Jack London
  • Neither did the blot with which the birth of my grandfather was menaced affect me much.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • She would have urged him gently, even then, but he menaced her with his chain.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Posnania was menaced by an agrarian strike, but a settlement has been reached.

    The Paper Moneys of Europe Francis W. Hirst
  • For the moment, however, Germany was neither attacked nor menaced.

    England and Germany Emile Joseph Dillon
  • He found his menaced life extremely difficult to get through.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • He ordered the two men to come up on board and menaced them with his revolver.

    Falk Joseph Conrad
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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