[ thret ]
/ θrɛt /
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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?
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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
OTHER WORDS FROM threatcoun·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
Threating Negroes with a court-martial and death sentence became a characteristic jest.The Soul of John Brown|Stephen Graham
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.