threaten

[ thret-n ]
/ ˈθrɛt n /

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.

Origin of threaten

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

SYNONYMS FOR threaten

ANTONYMS FOR threaten

OTHER WORDS FROM threaten

threat·en·er, nounout·threat·en, 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. 2020

Examples from the Web for threatener

  • 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 threatener

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