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See more synonyms for threatening on Thesaurus.com
  1. tending or intended to menace: threatening gestures.
  2. causing alarm, as by being imminent; ominous; sinister: threatening clouds.
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Origin of threatening

First recorded in 1520–30; threaten + -ing2
Related formsthreat·en·ing·ly, adverbnon·threat·en·ing, adjectivenon·threat·en·ing·ly, adverbun·threat·en·ing, adjectiveun·threat·en·ing·ly, adverb


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2. See imminent, ominous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for threateningly

Historical Examples

  • “Tell me first who did this thing,” he challenged, threateningly.

    A Breath of Prairie and other stories

    Will Lillibridge

  • "I am going to give you the facts," began Hatteras, threateningly.

  • When she was gone the two brothers eyed each other threateningly.

    The Doctor's Family

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

  • He finally ordered them away, and acted so threateningly that they retired.

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt

    Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)

  • "You will see that I can scratch," she rejoined, threateningly.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit

    Amanda Minnie Douglas