menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs \

Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a show of intention to inflict harm : threat exploding in menaces and threats of vengeance— George Meredith
2a : one that represents a threat : danger the intoxicated motorist is a menace to life and limb— Wayne Hughes
b : an annoying person her friends were beginning to find her a menace— Guy McCrone

menace

verb
menaced; menacing

Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a show of intention to harm menaced him with immediate expulsion— G. B. Shaw
2 : to represent or pose a threat to : endanger menaced by a group of toughs after his car goes kaput— Leah Rozen

intransitive verb

: to act in a threatening manner The bear menaced with its mouth wide open.

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Other Words from menace

Verb

menacingly \ ˈme-​nə-​siŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of menace in a Sentence

Noun

There was an atmosphere of menace in the city. She could hear the menace in his voice.

Verb

menaced the children by leaving them in the car unattended stockpiles of nuclear weapons that continue to menace the inhabitants of this planet
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Drone attacks also have become a menace beyond commercial aviation. Robert Wall, WSJ, "U.K. Police Detain Two Over Drone Activity at London’s Gatwick Airport," 22 Dec. 2018 That’s fraught with menace because of the racial disparities in police use of force that make people of color more likely to encounter violence or harassment. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Living While Black and the criminalization of blackness," 1 Aug. 2018 The menace never subsides, but the characters have a lot of quiet, interesting exchanges while stuck together in Nick’s small cell. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, ""Invisible Hand" Has Fresh Urgency At TheaterWorks," 1 June 2018 Silent Mist begins with two long takes seething with silent menace: first a three-minute gaze at the bustling banks of a canal as seen from a moving boat, followed by a six-minute tracking shot of women walking along the waterway. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Silent Mist' ('Chen Wu'): Film Review," 24 Jan. 2018 SoCal's notorious downpours and flash floods were a menace. Matt Simon, WIRED, "LA Is Doing Water Better Than Your City. Yes, That LA," 12 June 2018 Like her Dutch predecessors, Duennebier’s glistening realism captures bounty and menace, allure and mortification. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Pushing Painting’ presents the medium’s possibilities," 20 June 2018 The Koreans began to show greater menace, albeit without creating any clear chances. SI.com, "Sweden 1-0 South Korea: Dream Start for Swedes as Granqvist Penalty Breaks Koreans' Resistance," 18 June 2018 At its most simple, Wattozz is the latest twist on undersea mine, a lethal but underrated menace. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How Robot Stingrays Could One Day Sink a Battleship," 3 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One beneficiary of a bailout would be Warren Buffett, whose renewable-energy boondoggles are menaced by the prospect of his major customers going belly-up. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "California Burns for Better Leaders," 15 Jan. 2019 The relationship’s peak came in 1990-91, when the U.S. sent some 400,000 troops to protect Saudi Arabia—and its oil reserves—after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein conquered Kuwait and menaced the neighboring kingdom. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Rethinking Saudi Arabia," 30 Nov. 2018 And, very far down the line, could menace Central America, Mexico, or the United States. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Hurricane Florence represents a grave threat to the East Coast," 10 Sep. 2018 Police have arrested 63-year-old Carlos Bayon of Grand Island, New York, charging him with menacing the Congressman after leaving violent voicemail messages. Fox News, "Will Mueller get his presidential interview?," 8 Aug. 2018 Or the nitwit in Gulfport, Mississippi, who menaced shoppers at a Wal-Mart by loading and racking shells into a shotgun a few weeks ago, forcing an evacuation of the store. Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek, "Americans Don't Have the Right to Bear Just Any Arms," 16 July 2015 Still, The Holiday Calendar lacks the bonkers throw-all-the-tropes-on-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks verve of A Christmas Prince (at no point in The Holiday Calendar is anyone menaced by a wolf). Constance Grady, Vox, "The Holiday Calendar is Netflix’s latest stab at the Hallmark Christmas movie template. It’s … fine.," 2 Nov. 2018 Another classic, but this one is a non-controversial pick because those gremlins are menacing AF. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Horror Movies That Aren't Too Scary," 29 Oct. 2018 Both Ben and Dilton’s deaths are clearly connected to the mysterious cult that’s menacing the town of Riverdale on multiple fronts this season. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "What The Hell Is Going on With the Cult on Riverdale?," 18 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of menace

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for menace

Noun and Verb

Middle English manace, from Anglo-French manace, menace, from Latin minacia, from minac-, minax threatening, from minari to threaten — more at mount

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Statistics for menace

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for menace

The first known use of menace was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for menace

menace

noun

English Language Learners Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a dangerous or possibly harmful person or thing
: someone who causes trouble or annoyance
: a dangerous or threatening quality

menace

verb

English Language Learners Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat formal : to threaten harm to (someone or something)

menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs \

Kids Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : danger sense 2 That vicious dog is a menace.
2 : an annoying person

menace

verb
menaced; menacing

Kids Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to threaten harm to The pirates menaced the ship's passengers.

menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs \

Legal Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a show of an intention to inflict especially physical harm accomplished against a person's will by means of force,…menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injuryCalifornia Penal Code
2 : one who represents a threat

menace

verb
menaced; menacing

Legal Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a show of intention to harm
2 : to represent or pose a threat to

intransitive verb

: to act in a threatening manner

Other Words from menace

menacingly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on menace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with menace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for menace

Spanish Central: Translation of menace

Nglish: Translation of menace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of menace for Arabic Speakers

Comments on menace

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