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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from menace

Verb

menacingly \-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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mbappé announced his menace from the game’s opening moments. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "A Teenage Star Speeds France Past Argentina in World Cup," 30 June 2018 But choosing their words and even their clothes carefully never protected black activists from being viewed as a menace to (white) society. Crystal Marie Fleming, Vox, "Maxine Waters and the trope of the “angry black woman”," 29 June 2018 Muhammad bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi, the main power in the United Arab Emirates, regards the Brothers as a menace. The Economist, "Muslims but not brothersSaudi Arabia turns against political Islam," 23 June 2018 Abby's banter with Alioune and Zack initially plays like sitcom dialogue, draining the work of its neo-Pinteresque menace and setting up erroneous expectations of what stylistically lies ahead. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "In 'Belleville,' two Americans in Paris head into Hitchcock territory," 24 Apr. 2018 Juan Cuadrado was a menace down the right side all night. Grant Wahl, SI.com, "Colombia Dazzles Us Again, England Overwhelms in Big World Cup Wins," 24 June 2018 That Russian setting promises to add an air of comedic menace to proceedings if the sensational pre-tournament news stories are any guide. Roger Bennett, GQ, "Un-American Football: Your Guide to Enjoying This Yankee-Free World Cup," 12 June 2018 Now sobered up, Hickey is trying to convince his fellow barflies to stop clinging to their pipe dreams, and Washington imbues his character with searing delusion, guilt-ridden desperation, and a hint of menace. Christopher Wallenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Picks and predictions for the Tonys," 8 June 2018 For decades after the regime’s fall, ambushes by vestigial Khmer Rouge squads and other guerrillas were a regular menace on Cambodia’s train lines. Eli Meixler / Phnom Penh, Time, "Riding the Rails: Phnom Penh's Airport Train Is a Milestone for Cambodia," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Japan has been directly menaced by North Korean missiles fired over its waters and land, and is seen as a primary target because of its decadeslong security alliance with the United States and the presence of US forces on its soil. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump dangles White House visit for North Korea’s Kim if summit goes well," 8 June 2018 Patricia Richardson was the publisher when Ramos sent menacing tweets five years ago. Fox News, "The Latest: Priest highlights work of 5 slain journalists," 30 June 2018 He was arraigned in early April on two felony charges, criminal mischief in the second degree and criminal mischief in the third degree, and 10 misdemeanor charges ranging from menacing to reckless endangerment. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Conor McGregor in plea negotiations over his April bus attack, receives new hearing date," 14 June 2018 And much of that unit returns to menace opposing offenses in 2018. Iliana Limón Romero, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Wyoming in No. 51 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 7 July 2018 Some men have openly vowed to menace women drivers, sparking the Saudi government to issue a new antiharassment law that came into effect earlier this month. Margherita Stancati And Donna Abdulaziz, WSJ, "Saudi Women Drivers Face One Last Roadblock: Saudi Men," 21 June 2018 My favorite moment in the theater were the waves of oh-my-Gods as people realized one by one that something menacing was lurking just behind a character’s head onscreen. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Is Hereditary Really As Scary As Everyone Says?," 11 June 2018 Mellado’s gif postcards from Puerto Rico show a lovely country menaced by global warming. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Travel-Themed Exhibit 'Wish You Were Here' In New Haven," 23 June 2018 By the time Maria hit, wooden power poles were rotted, transmission towers had rusted through and overgrown trees menaced thousands of miles of power lines. Michael Weissenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Puerto Rico grid 'teetering' despite $3.8 billion repair job," 30 May 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.

See More

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

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

Verb

see menace entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about menace

Phrases Related to menace

with menaces

Statistics for menace

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for menace

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on menace

What made you want to look up menace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!