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

More than 8 million seniors live in Florida's east coast counties and face the menace of Dorian. CBS News, "Hurricane Dorian moving up East Coast after leaving Bahamas in ruins," 4 Sep. 2019 Utterly assured, Roman Polanski’s debut feature offers phenomenal compositions and a mounting sense of menace. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard Film Archive floats some boats with 2019 overnight movie marathon," 22 Aug. 2019 The company revived it in 2012 as the nation emerged from the financial crisis and the lingering menace of 9/11. Gabriella Petrick, Smithsonian, "Why Americans Love Their Apple Pie," 21 Aug. 2019 Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters (Originally published Dec. 20, 2018) Arms makers are targeting the growing menace of drones at airports and on battlefields with a rush to develop new missile systems, radar jammers and laser cannons. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Weapon Makers Declare War on Drones," 3 Mar. 2019 His torments often lead nowhere, blunting the sense of menace that Skarsgård brings to the role of the sadistic, child-chomping monster clown. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Overlong ‘It Chapter Two’ confronts scarier evils than Pennywise the clown," 5 Sep. 2019 His torments often lead nowhere, blunting the sense of menace that Skarsgård brings to the role of the sadistic, child-chomping monster clown. Jen Yamatostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Overlong ‘It Chapter Two’ confronts scarier evils than Pennywise the clown," 3 Sep. 2019 Simmons, who turned 70 last week, brought his reliable balance of menace and whimsy. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Once more, with bombast: Kiss delivers bold farewell to Indianapolis," 1 Sep. 2019 Rod Serling’s iconic supernatural show used visual motifs derived from surrealism to create a sense of otherworldly menace. Joanna Scutts, Curbed, "The shows we’ve lived by," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Weekend traffic was light in Florida despite those orders, unlike during the chaotic run-up to Hurricane Irma in 2017 when the unusually broad storm menaced the entire state. Ramón Espinosa, Twin Cities, "Dorian strikes Bahamas with record fury as Category 5 storm," 1 Sep. 2019 Authorities in a California city had to use a tranquilizer dart to subdue a large pig that was menacing residents. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California authorities use tranquilizer to stop rogue pig," 25 Aug. 2019 Professional storm-chasers run toward danger to track a series of deadly tornadoes menacing a town over the course of a single day. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Also in the hacking headlines, China’s Huawei Technologies on Tuesday charged that U.S. forces were conducting cyberattacks and menacing its employees. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Why Harvard and Yale Students Can Skip This Computer Science Class—Data Sheet," 3 Sep. 2019 As Florida Power & Light faces Hurricane Dorian, its message to the public remains the same as two years ago, when Hurricane Irma menaced us: Be prepared for your power to go out. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "Despite FPL upgrades, you’ll probably lose power during Hurricane Dorian," 29 Aug. 2019 In his memoir, Mr Manzoor describes the skinheads who menaced him on his way home and a pig’s head that appeared at the local mosque. J.t., The Economist, "“Blinded by the Light” captures Bruce Springsteen’s universal truths," 15 Aug. 2019 Now, Dorian has finally begun to leave the Bahamas and is forecast to begin turning north — with hurricane- and tropical storm-force winds offshore but still menacing Florida and the East Coast of the U.S. over the next few days. NBC News, "Why is Hurricane Dorian moving so slowly?," 3 Sep. 2019 When he was sold the rifle, Cote had a 2013 conviction for stalking and menacing, as well as an active stalking order, all stemming from his encounters with another woman in Deschutes County. oregonlive.com, "Oregon gun seller, Clackamas County sheriff sued for $10 million in 2018 murder-suicide," 30 July 2019

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

4 Oct 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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