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 kids are roaming around, investigating ominous menaces. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "So, What Is a 'Mind Flayer,' Exactly? Decoding the Monsters of 'Stranger Things'," 5 July 2019 Nicholas Newton’s Count Monterone and Christian Zaremba’s Sparafucile—supplied menace. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Review: Wrenching Drama and Vicious Satire," 25 June 2019 Dust as a public health menace Airborne dust is a major component of particulate matter pollution in the Southwest and is linked to a variety of adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health problems, said Achakulwisut, the climate scientist. AZCentral.com, "Summer storms are a spectacle, but the dust in them is hazardous to your health," 18 June 2019 But almost 50 meters beneath our feet lurked a hidden menace. Quanta Magazine, "Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire," 16 Apr. 2019 If Russia had returned as a foreign policy menace, the Middle East created some new threats. Anne Applebaum, The New York Review of Books, "The Lure of Western Europe," 6 June 2019 Rouhani's remarks could refer to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain — close U.S. military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for militant groups across the Middle East. Fox News, "Iran holds funerals for victims of terror attack in Ahvaz," 24 Sep. 2018 The hero of the night was Michael Volle, who brought a looming menace to Scarpia. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Classic Operas, New Vital Signs," 7 May 2018 But with Russian aggression now seen as a worldwide menace, and with Skripal’s poisoning such a a public spectacle, that was not an option in this case. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Theresa May: Russia Probably Behind Poisoning on British Soil," 12 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After Sanchez-Jimenez was released from the hospital, he was charged with second-degree assault, two counts of menacing with a deadly weapon, two counts of obstruction of phone service and false imprisonment. Noelle Phillips, The Denver Post, "Two Denver cops cleared in shooting where domestic violence suspect pointed a gun at his wife," 21 June 2019 The suspect was transported to the hospital for an evaluation and will be charged with aggravated menacing for threatening officers on the scene. Cheryl Higley, cleveland.com, "Teen faces menacing charge: Avon Lake Police Blotter," 7 June 2019 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

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

12 Jul 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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