menace

[men-is]
See more synonyms for menace on Thesaurus.com
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 menace

Contemporary Examples of menace

Historical Examples of menace

  • "You will hear from me again," he said, in a tone of menace.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But think not it is by way of menace, or to intimidate you to favour me.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • There was a menace in Mary's voice under which the girl cringed again.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Here on the Street, with its menace just across, he must live, that she might work.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • When a man finds that a woman can reason,—do anything but feel,—he regards her as a menace.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart


British Dictionary definitions for menace

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 for menace

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 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.

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