Definitions for: Threaten

[v] to utter intentions of injury or punishment against:"He threatened me when I tried to call the police"
[v] to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds threaten rain"; "Danger threatens"
[v] pose a threat to; present a danger to; "The pollution is endangering the crops"

Webster (1913) Definition: Threat"en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Threatened; p. pr. &
vb. n. Threatening.] [OE. [thorn]retenen. See Threat, v.
1. To utter threats against; to menace; to inspire with
apprehension; to alarm, or attempt to alarm, as with the
promise of something evil or disagreeable; to warn.

Let us straitly threaten them, that they speak
henceforth to no man in this name. --Acts iv. 17.

2. To exhibit the appearance of (something evil or
unpleasant) as approaching; to indicate as impending; to
announce the conditional infliction of; as, to threaten
war; to threaten death. --Milton.

The skies look grimly And threaten present blusters.

Syn: To menace.

Usage: Threaten, Menace. Threaten is Anglo-Saxon, and
menace is Latin. As often happens, the former is the
more familiar term; the latter is more employed in
formal style. We are threatened with a drought; the
country is menaced with war.

By turns put on the suppliant and the lord:
Threatened this moment, and the next implored.

Of the sharp ax Regardless, that o'er his
devoted head Hangs menacing. --Somerville.

Threat"en, v. i.
To use threats, or menaces; also, to have a threatening

Though the seas threaten, they are merciful. --Shak.

Synonyms: endanger, imperil, jeopardise, jeopardize, menace, peril

See Also: augur, auspicate, be, betoken, bode, exist, forecast, foreshadow, foretell, offer, omen, portend, predict, prefigure, presage, prognosticate, warn

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