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threaten

[thret-n] /ˈθrɛt n/
verb (used with object)
1.
to utter a threat against; menace:
He threatened the boy with a beating.
2.
to be a menace or source of danger to:
Sickness threatened her peace of mind.
3.
to offer (a punishment, injury, etc.) by way of a threat:
They threatened swift retaliation.
4.
to give an ominous indication of:
The clouds threaten rain.
verb (used without object)
5.
to utter or use threats.
6.
to indicate impending evil or mischief.
Origin of threaten
1000
before 1000; Middle English thretnen, Old English thrēatnian, derivative of thrēat pressure, oppression. See threat, -en1
Related forms
threatener, noun
outthreaten, verb (used with object)
prethreaten, verb (used with object)
rethreaten, verb
Synonyms
2. endanger.
Antonyms
2. protect, defend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for threatened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was sultry, and there was something in the atmosphere that at once threatened and soothed.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • In other words Mr. Gladstone was threatened with total blindness.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Mr. Lovelace's threatened vengeance is in return for threatened vengeance.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • You hear, brother, with what strange diseases he has threatened me.

  • It was refused, whereupon Morgan threatened that no quarter should be given.

British Dictionary definitions for threatened

threaten

/ˈθrɛtən/
verb
1.
(transitive) to be a threat to
2.
to be a menacing indication of (something); portend: dark clouds threatened rain
3.
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to express a threat to (a person or people)
Derived Forms
threatener, noun
threatening, adjective
threateningly, adverb
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 threatened

threaten

v.

Old English þreatnian (see threat). Related: Threatened. Threatening in the sense of "portending no good" is recorded from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for threatened

14
14
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