menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs How to pronounce menace (audio) \

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.

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 All the Bollywood scenes with Kingo were hilarious, as were his and Karun’s attempts to make a documentary about the Eternals’ new fight against a resurgent Deviant menace. Erik Kain, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 The story line was ambitious and meandering, involving nothing less than the demise of humanity in the face of a mysterious menace called Shadow, the Final Destroyer. Michael J. Seidlinger, Wired, 6 Nov. 2021 Still without their best defender, DeMarcus Lawrence, who could return in late November, the Cowboys have seen fifth-year DE Randy Gregory become a menace to QBs. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Oct. 2021 Halloween is approaching, and a whiff of ghoulish menace is squatting casually in the darkness of London’s evenings. Helen Czerski, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 To Erickson, 71, the idea of recording everyone’s movements in hopes of combating some imaginary menace seemed invasive, ineffective and absurd. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 It's considered a major menace to the plant ecosystem in Florida. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Oct. 2021 The group that was kidnapped was taken by the 400 Mawozo gang, a growing menace in Port-au-Prince. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Oct. 2021 The group is believed to have been taken by the 400 Mawozo gang, a growing menace in Port-au-Prince. New York Times, 18 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Prosecutors say that on Jan. 9 — three days after the Capitol siege — Eugene Huelsman called Gaetz’s office phone to menace the lawmaker. Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News, 26 Oct. 2021 Though no longer a hurricane, Ida was continuing to menace much of the Northeast. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2021 Farmers and residents across northern Wisconsin say wolves menace their pets and livestock and hunting is the only way to control them. Todd Richmond, ajc, 12 Aug. 2021 The only lasting solution is for permissive host countries like Russia to crack down on the hackers in their jurisdictions and actually arrest the people behind the constantly shifting array of cybergangs that menace the web. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 5 Aug. 2021 Heavy rain appeared to menace the Gulf Coast, and authorities predicted the possibility of damaging thunderstorms in the Ohio Valley. Washington Post, 19 June 2021 First, the government must prioritize the prosecution of those who menace election officials. Lawrence Norden And Matthew Weil, CNN, 16 June 2021 But whereas the Kremlin has been known to reach deep into Europe to menace its opponents, Belarus is a small country, with resources far more limited than Russia’s. Washington Post, 31 May 2021 The on-location scenery is astonishing—the jumbled color-box houses of Tasiilaq, the thawing Arctic ice sheet, actual polar bears who menace schoolchildren (and attack foreign dignitaries). Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 27 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for menace

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near menace

menaccanite

menace

menacing

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Statistics for menace

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Menace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/menace. Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

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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)

: to threaten harm to (someone or something)

menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs How to pronounce menace (audio) \

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 How to pronounce menace (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on menace

Nglish: Translation of menace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of menace for Arabic Speakers

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