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.

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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

The entire Democratic and media establishment went into meltdown mode, castigating Mr. Schultz as out of touch and a menace to those candidates who might deliver the country... Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Clash of the Billionaire Politicians," 31 Jan. 2019 Inspired by the real-life tales of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the series kicked off with the story of the Perron family, who move into a Rhode Island farmhouse in 1971 and to discover all manners of supernatural menace. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 2018 But the menace to the world’s established carriers goes deeper. The Economist, "Chinese aviation takes off," 7 Apr. 2018 In some communities, that’s led to a disconnect between conservation groups and residents for whom bears are more menace than victim. Eva Holland, Smithsonian, "Where the Doomed, Beloved Polar Bear Is Still a Dangerous Predator," 16 May 2018 On Wednesday, the New York debut of Gabe Stone Shayer in the same role was impressive: less gleeful, with a touch more menace, only smudging minor details in the death scene. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "4 Buzzy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Debuts, 1 Fainthearted Production," 15 June 2018 But even to have any chance of defanging the North Korean nuclear menace, there’s one huge concession Mr. Trump must demand from the regime: that Mr. Kim abandon his totalitarian control over North Korea. Claudia Rosett, WSJ, "Only Freedom Can Disarm Kim," 31 May 2018 While a menace to pets, coyotes are generally not aggressive toward humans. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Call of the coyote: Living with urban and suburban coyotes," 29 Apr. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Embers of hope stoked while Hitler menaced Europe were snuffed out by distrust cultivated by two incompatible political systems. Jonathan W. Jordan, WSJ, "‘The Kremlin Letters’ and ‘The Allies’ Review: The View From the Summit," 30 Nov. 2018 And Matthew Salazar-Thompson is menacing as Anne’s husband, Pierre. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "North Coast Rep's clever 'Father' slips inside the demented mind," 3 June 2018 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

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

3 May 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 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

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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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