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 state has put the antidote into the hands of many more police officers and members of the public, but the menace continues. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Connecticut medical examiner predicts 1,088 overdose deaths by year’s end, an increase from 2018," 30 Aug. 2019 With defensive menaces Kory Tacha and Logan Marx back, Limon promises to field a defense as salty as the one that held opponents to single digits in all but one game last season. Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, "Preseason Colorado Prep Football Power 20: Valor Christian… isn’t No. 1?," 29 Aug. 2019 Time and again, the centre, and various state governments have enacted laws, with little success, to curb the menace. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "India’s plastic waste crisis is too big, even for Modi," 28 Aug. 2019 The menace falls beyond most people’s time horizons. The Economist, "One way or another the deluge is coming," 15 Aug. 2019 Drums that quietly rumbled with menace as Judas contemplated betrayal. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: A powerful Passion closes Minnesota Orchestra’s Latin Sommerfest," 3 Aug. 2019 On the other side of the spectrum, Antony Starr’s Homelander is vibrating with menace and fanatical belief. Shana O'neil, The Verge, "The Boys is a bloody manic mayhem dream show," 24 July 2019 Any doubt about the menace in California’s mountains disappeared a little more than three months later, when the Camp fire destroyed most of Paradise and killed 85 people. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, "Idyllwild prized its isolation. Now, with the roads into town wrecked, it feels all alone," 21 July 2019 As of this week, donors had pledged $1,790 toward the Rendes' fight with the oily menace below. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Troy homeowners’ horror: 'Dad, something really stinks in the basement'," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But Canada is being directly menaced in the region for the first time since the cold war. The Economist, "Foreign policyCanada is feeling lonely, but its place internationally is still strong," 25 July 2019 Both Ben and Dilton’s deaths are clearly connected to the mysterious cult that’s menacing the town of Riverdale on multiple fronts this season. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "What The Hell Is Going on With the Cult on Riverdale?," 18 Oct. 2018 These hazards were like submerged rocks menacing a port. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From potholes to perfect pavement: My neighborhood has lovely new streets," 24 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 Cyclone Mekunu is now menacing coastal areas near the border of Yemen and Oman, with landfall expected west of the Omani city of Salalah on Friday afternoon. Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN, "Cyclone hits Yemeni island ahead of landfall on Yemen, Oman coast," 25 May 2018 Others are menacing, like the image of a 1920s-era Ku Klux Klan rally two miles from Washington, D.C., that includes a Klan member glaring at the photographer. John Rogers, The Seattle Times, "Library of Congress brings America to life in LA photo show," 21 Apr. 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

6 Sep 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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