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threaten

play
verb threat·en \ˈthre-tən\

Simple Definition of threaten

  • : to say that you will harm someone or do something unpleasant or unwanted especially in order to make someone do what you want

  • : to be something that is likely to cause harm to (someone or something) : to be a threat to (someone or something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of threaten

threatened

threatening

play \ˈthret-niŋ, ˈthre-tən-iŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to utter threats against

  3. 2a :  to give signs or warning of :  portend <the clouds threatened rain>b :  to hang over dangerously :  menace <famine threatens the city>

  4. 3 :  to announce as intended or possible <the workers threatened a strike>

  5. 4 :  to cause to feel insecure or anxious <felt threatened by his brother's success>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to utter threats

  8. 2 :  to portend evil

threatener

play \ˈthret-nər, ˈthre-tən-ər\ noun

threateningly

play \ˈthret-niŋ-lē, ˈthre-tən-iŋ-\ adverb

Examples of threaten in a sentence

  1. The mugger threatened him with a gun.

  2. She threatened to quit if they didn't give her a raise, but no one believed her.

  3. Civil war has been threatening the country for years.

  4. a marriage threatened by financial problems

  5. Overfishing threatens the survival of certain fish species.

  6. The latest news threatens trouble for the economy.



13th Century

First Known Use of threaten

13th century

Rhymes with threaten


THREATEN Defined for Kids

threaten

play
verb threat·en \ˈthre-tən\

Definition of threaten for Students

threatened

threatening

  1. 1 :  to show an intention to do harm or something unwanted <He threatened to quit.>

  2. 2 :  to give warning of by an indication <The clouds threatened rain.>

threateningly

adverb




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