- 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: often in the pp.: homeowners threatened with foreclosure
Origin of threatenMiddle English thretnen from Old English threatnian
- to make threats
- to be an indication or source of potential danger, harm, etc.