threaten

[ thret-n ]
/ ˈθrɛt n /
See synonyms for: threaten / threatened / threatening / threatens on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)

to utter a threat against; menace: He threatened the boy with a beating.
to be a menace or source of danger to: Sickness threatened her peace of mind.
to offer (a punishment, injury, etc.) by way of a threat: They threatened swift retaliation.
to give an ominous indication of: The clouds threaten rain.

verb (used without object)

to utter or use threats.
to indicate impending evil or mischief.

QUIZZES

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seclusion

Origin of threaten

before 1000; Middle English thretnen,Old English thrēatnian, derivative of thrēat pressure, oppression. See threat, -en1

OTHER WORDS FROM threaten

threat·en·er, nounoutthreaten, verb (used with object)pre·threat·en, verb (used with object)re·threat·en, verb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for threaten

  • Fear, too, was out of the question; there must be no such relationship as that between the threatened and the threatener.

    What The Left Hand Was Doing|Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Leiba went to the town hall, then to the sub-prefecture to denounce the threatener, begging that he might be watched.

  • The large young man halted and presented a grinning face to his threatener.

    Port O' Gold|Louis John Stellman
  • Two French sub-officers now suddenly appeared upon the scene, one of them knocked the threatener aside.

    Moscow|Fred Whishaw

British Dictionary definitions for threaten

threaten
/ (ˈθrɛtən) /

verb

(tr) to be a threat to
to be a menacing indication of (something); portenddark clouds threatened rain
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to express a threat to (a person or people)

Derived forms of threaten

threatener, nounthreatening, adjectivethreateningly, 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