- a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace: He confessed under the threat of imprisonment.
- an indication or warning of probable trouble: The threat of a storm was in the air.
- a person or thing that threatens.
- Archaic. to threaten.
Origin of threat
Related Words for threatperil, risk, blackmail, hazard, intimidation, menace, omen, commination, thunder, fix, bluff, foreboding, fulmination, presage, portent, foreshadowing, impendence
Examples from the Web for threat
Contemporary Examples of threat
When communism was a threat, it was construed as a communist plot.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
But this war jumps from city to city, depending the threat of the day.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War
Nancy A. Youssef
January 7, 2015
“The threat streams to U.S. interests and Western interests are off the chart,” he said.ISIS Fight Has a Spy Shortage, Intel Chair Says
January 2, 2015
The Perfect Storm writer talks combat brotherhood and the threat posed by growing wealth inequality.Sebastian Junger on War, Loss, and a Divided America
The Daily Beast Video
January 1, 2015
But not even the threat of death can suppress the urge to live vicariously through Jack Dawson and James Bond.North Korea’s Secret Movie Bootleggers: How Western Films Make It Into the Hermit Kingdom
December 22, 2014
Historical Examples of threat
Then I shall have to put it out of your power to carry out your threat.Brave and Bold
And you forget that—that devil—suppose she's as good as her threat?The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
One threat which he used again and again, discovers all his world-blindness to me.The Man Shakespeare
He did not seem particularly alarmed at her threat—or, perhaps, he did not care.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
"I'll have you before his honour," is the threat of an Irishman who hopes for partiality.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
- a declaration of the intention to inflict harm, pain, or misery
- an indication of imminent harm, danger, or pain
- a person or thing that is regarded as dangerous or likely to inflict pain or misery
- an archaic word for threaten
Word Origin for threat
Old English þreat "crowd, troop," also "oppression, menace," related to þreotan "to trouble, weary," from Proto-Germanic *threutanan (cf. German verdrießen "to vex"), from PIE *trud- "push, press" (cf. Latin trudere "to press, thrust," Old Church Slavonic trudu "oppression," Middle Irish trott "quarrel, conflict," M.Welsh cythrud "torture, torment, afflict"). Sense of "conditional declaration of hostile intention" was in Old English.
see triple threat.