- tending or intended to menace: threatening gestures.
- causing alarm, as by being imminent; ominous; sinister: threatening clouds.
Origin of threatening
SynonymsSee more synonyms for threatening on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
- to utter or use threats.
- to indicate impending evil or mischief.
Origin of threaten
SynonymsSee more synonyms for threaten on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for threatening
Neither is unnerved by her apparent anger, nor do they see her as threatening.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
Now hackers are threatening to bomb any theater that shows it.Six Must-Read Stories About the Sony Hacks, Congo’s Forgotten Colonial Getaway and Another Woman’s Story of U-VA
The Daily Beast
December 20, 2014
But the sunlight is threatening to fade and a three-and-a-half-hour river journey back to Kisangani looms.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
Israel commonly holds people suspected of threatening national security for long periods without access to legal counsel.The Strange Case of the Christian Zionist Terrorist
December 14, 2014
His first feature film, Jellyfish Eyes, debuted last year and was set in a town near a threatening nuclear power plant.Takashi Murakami’s Art From Disaster
November 28, 2014
The official's voice was charged with threatening as he went on.Within the Law
But it settled down again, black and threatening, before spring came.In the Valley
The political controversy, however fierce and threatening, is only for power.Slavery Ordained of God
Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
And so the report came to me that the workers were threatening strike.City of Endless Night
It was some moments before, under the girl's threatening eyes, she could speak at all.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- (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)
Word Origin and History for threatening
Old English þreatnian (see threat). Related: Threatened. Threatening in the sense of "portending no good" is recorded from 1520s.