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menace

[men-is]
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noun
  1. something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.; a threat: Air pollution is a menace to health.
  2. 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.
  3. an extremely annoying person.
verb (used with object), men·aced, men·ac·ing.
  1. to utter or direct a threat against; threaten.
  2. to serve as a probable threat to; imperil.
verb (used without object), men·aced, men·ac·ing.
  1. 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 formsmen·ac·er, nounmen·ac·ing·ly, adverbnon·men·ac·ing, adjectivepre·men·ace, noun, verb (used with object), pre·men·aced, pre·men·ac·ing.un·men·aced, adjectiveun·men·ac·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for menacingly

Historical Examples

  • "Pilot, you will be responsible for this if my prisoners escape," said Mr. Grab menacingly.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • He stared his tall visitor up and down critically, menacingly.

  • "There might be worse things for you to face," replied the man, menacingly.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton</p>

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • And conditions throughout the summer of 1886 had been menacingly unfavorable.

  • Alfred cocked his revolver and menacingly pointed it at him.


British Dictionary definitions for menacingly

menace

verb
  1. to threaten with violence, danger, etc
noun
  1. literary a threat or the act of threatening
  2. something menacing; a source of danger
  3. informal a nuisance
Derived Formsmenacer, nounmenacing, adjectivemenacingly, 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

Word Origin and History for menacingly

menace

n.

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.

menace

v.

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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