Threat·en v. t. [imp. & p. p. Threatened p. pr. & vb. n. Threatening.]
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.
The skies look grimly
And threaten present blusters. --Shak.
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. --Prior.
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 appearance.
Though the seas threaten, they are merciful. --Shak.
v 1: pose a threat to; present a danger to; "The pollution is
endangering the crops" [syn: endanger, jeopardize, jeopardise,
menace, imperil, peril]
2: to utter intentions of injury or punishment against:"He
threatened me when I tried to call the police"
3: to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds
threaten rain"; "Danger threatens"