- Threaten is defined as to pose a danger to someone or something, or to make someone believe you pose a danger by making statements indicating an intent to harm them.
- Human encroachment on animal's land is an example of something that threatens the animal population.
- When you tell someone you are going to kill him, this is an example of a time when you threaten him.
- to make threats against; express one's intention of hurting, punishing, etc.
- to express intention to inflict (punishment, reprisal, etc.)
- to indicate the likely occurrence of (something dangerous, unpleasant, etc.): clouds threatening snow
- to be a source of such danger, harm, etc. to: an epidemic that threatens the city
Origin: Middle English thretnen from Old English threatnian
- to make threats
- to be an indication or source of potential danger, harm, etc.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb threat·ened, threat·en·ing, threat·ens verb, transitive
- To express a threat against.
- To be a source of danger to; menace.
- To give signs or warning of; portend.
- To announce the possibility of in a threat.
- To express or use threats.
- To indicate danger or harm.
- threatˈen·er noun
- threatˈen·ing·ly adverb