menace

noun
men·​ace | \ˈme-nəs \

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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Other Words from menace

Verb

menacingly \-​nə-​siŋ-​lē \ adverb

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

For Pai, the fine was an example of the agency’s crackdown on the robocalling menace. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Why robocalls have taken over your phone," 7 Nov. 2018 The look felt appropriate to the subtle menace moving within the highly melodious pop-rock music Spoon presented. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 5: Greta Van Fleet, Chromeo, Rick Springfield and more," 1 July 2018 But to realize their amazing destiny, to reunite their national family, the menace of nuclear weapons will now be removed. Washington Post, "Trump’s optimistic news conference after meeting with Kim Jong Un, annotated," 12 June 2018 In the early Cold War period, the emergence of West Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet menace tended to discourage a closer interrogation of German cultural values. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "How American Racism Influenced Hitler," 23 Apr. 2018 But Kyrie Irving is now the biggest menace on the Cavs' toughest Eastern Conference rival, the Boston Celtics. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cavaliers lose another to currently superior Warriors: Bill Livingston (photos)," 16 Jan. 2018 While trade is front and center, the G-7 officials will also need to deal with other potential menaces to the global economy, starting with the Italian political crisis. Jana Randow, Bloomberg.com, "Outrage Over U.S. Steel Tariffs Set to Spill Over Into G7 Meeting," 1 June 2018 There is a frightening menace about this character and Guevin nails it in an electrifying performance. Tom Titus, latimes.com, "On Theater: A haunting premiere of ‘Little Black Shadows’ at SCR," 19 Apr. 2018 Visionary thought leaders like Gevers, who took Silicon Valley’s monopoly on startup financing to be a more tractable menace than African sheriffs, seemed by comparison exceptionally reasonable. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Another classic, but this one is a non-controversial pick because those gremlins are menacing AF. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Horror Movies That Aren't Too Scary," 29 Oct. 2018 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 Martin has prior convictions for menacing in 2015 and possessing marijuana in 2014, while Watkins has convictions for endangering children, disorderly conduct and contempt of court in 2008, records show. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Akron detectives and SWAT team seize drugs, guns and cash during raid," 10 Jan. 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 Japan has been directly menaced by North Korean missiles fired over its waters and land, and is seen as a primary target because of its decadeslong security alliance with the United States and the presence of US forces on its soil. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump dangles White House visit for North Korea’s Kim if summit goes well," 8 June 2018 Patricia Richardson was the publisher when Ramos sent menacing tweets five years ago. Fox News, "The Latest: Priest highlights work of 5 slain journalists," 30 June 2018 He was arraigned in early April on two felony charges, criminal mischief in the second degree and criminal mischief in the third degree, and 10 misdemeanor charges ranging from menacing to reckless endangerment. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Conor McGregor in plea negotiations over his April bus attack, receives new hearing date," 14 June 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

Middle English manace, from Anglo-French manace, menace, from Latin minacia, from minac-, minax threatening, from minari to threaten — more at mount

Verb

see menace entry 1

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Statistics for menace

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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)

: to threaten harm to (someone or something)

menace

noun
men·​ace | \ˈme-nəs \

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 \

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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