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 This species of aquatic moth is not alone in its travails—other wasp species menace other aquatic caterpillars. Matt Simon, Wired, "‘Godzilla’ Wasp Swims—So Its Young Can Burst Out of Caterpillars," 9 Nov. 2020 While the Comanche and later the Apache were a menace, the most deadly obstacle to both cattle drovers and travelers was the long dry stretch from the Concho River west to the Pecos. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Horse Head Crossing — where men and cattle died," 6 Nov. 2020 Those gendarmes evidently didn’t know that Karp, far from being a public menace, was the chief executive of an American company whose software has been deployed on behalf of public safety in France. Michael Steinberger, New York Times, "Does Palantir See Too Much?," 21 Oct. 2020 For all the menace and mystique around hacking tools, actually shutting one down is a bit of an anticlimax. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "The Unsinkable Maddie Stone, Google's Bug-Hunting Badass," 25 Oct. 2020 Rhodes proved a menace for Burrow, breaking up three passes and making three tackles. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Philip Rivers, Colts rally to take down Bengals, 31-27," 18 Oct. 2020 For one thing, Sweeney does a nice job finding the middle path between possibly jealous sister and possibly psychotic menace. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Yes, Blumhouse's 'Nocturne' is a generic horror movie. It's also a welcome escape," 12 Oct. 2020 Union tactics also contribute to an atmosphere of racial menace. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "How Police Unions Bully Politicians," 20 Oct. 2020 Someone, maybe more than one, shot bursts of gunfire into the air, final exclamation points of menace. Lauren Smiley, Wired, "The True Story of the Antifa Invasion of Forks, Washington," 8 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rhodes, a former criminal defense lawyer, tells members of his group to obey the law and not to menace voters. Los Angeles Times, "What if armed, far-right groups go to the polls? Some plan to," 10 Oct. 2020 The other, Laura, was about to enter the Gulf of Mexico and was forecast to make landfall somewhere near the Texas-Louisiana border, far enough away not to menace the city. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "Fifteen years and $15 billion since Katrina, New Orleans is more prepared for a major hurricane. For now.," 25 Aug. 2020 Haner does appear to intervene multiple times as people take the woman’s belongings and menace her, according to the video. oregonlive, "Portland man beaten during downtown protest: What a new 32-minute video reveals," 20 Aug. 2020 With Hurricane Isaias forecast to menace Florida’s east coast, NASA and SpaceX have moved Sunday’s splashdown of two astronauts returning from the international Space Station from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, "Florida’s status as gateway to the stars grounded in enhanced bonding capacities and tax incentives," 3 Aug. 2020 But while both are now free and on American soil, the Egyptian government has continued to menace them, pressuring them to remain silent by harassing and threatening their relatives living in Egypt, say victims and human rights groups. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, "Egypt tries to silence its critics in the United States by jailing their relatives," 9 July 2020 Across social media, peaceful protesters have expressed unease that the police are no longer there to protect them, that—as much of the black community has sensed for years—the police are menacing, heavily armed antagonists. Molly Crabapple, The New York Review of Books, "After George Floyd, a Nation in Search of Justice," 29 May 2020 Iranian speed boats have menaced warships in the Persian Gulf, Russian planes buzzed a Navy surveillance plane flying over the Mediterranean, and ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria continue to attack American and coalition forces there. Jennifer Babich, USA TODAY, "Pentagon looks to train, deploy combat units with 'social distancing protocols in place'," 14 May 2020 The current crisis offers an opening to film the public spaces that are menaced, to preserve the sights that may vanish. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: Nanni Moretti’s “Dear Diary” and the Power of the Film Camera as Sketchbook," 22 May 2020

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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Statistics for menace

Last Updated

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Menace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/menace. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for menace

menace

noun
How to pronounce menace (audio)

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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Comments on menace

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