[ thret ]
/ θrɛt /
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See synonyms for: threat / threats on Thesaurus.com

a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course: His family convinced him to take the anonymous threats seriously and call the police.
an indication or warning of probable trouble, or of being at risk for something terrible:The threat of a storm was in the air.He confessed under the threat of imprisonment.
a person or thing that threatens: Her attorney will try to convince the judge that she is not a threat to herself or others.
verb (used with or without object)
Archaic. to threaten: Do you dare to accuse and threat within my very home?
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of threat

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun thret(e) “crowd, multitude, verbal menace,” Old English thrēat “crowd, pressure, oppression, punishment”; cognate with Old Norse thraut “hardship, great struggle”; verb from the noun; see also threaten


coun·ter·threat [koun-ter-thret], /ˈkaʊn tərˌθrɛt/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use threat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for threat

/ (θrɛt) /

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; related to Old Norse thraut, Middle Low German drōt
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with threat


see triple threat.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.