mi·​na·​to·​ry | \ ˈmi-nə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce minatory (audio) , ˈmī- How to pronounce minatory (audio) \

Definition of minatory

: having a menacing quality

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Did You Know?

Knowing that minatory means "threatening," can you take a guess at a related word? If you're familiar with mythology, perhaps you guessed Minotaur, the name of the bull-headed, people-eating monster of Crete. Minotaur is a good guess, but as terrifying as the monster sounds, its name isn't related to minatory. The relative we're searching for is actually menace. Minatory and menace both come from derivatives of the Latin verb minari, which means "to threaten." Minatory was borrowed directly from Late Latin minatorius. Menace came to English via Anglo-French manace, menace, which came from Latin minac-, minax, meaning "threatening."

Examples of minatory in a Sentence

the novel's protagonist is haunted by a minatory black specter
Recent Examples on the Web Among the richest of the novel’s many pleasures are just such minor characters, including some irresistibly vain and grasping thespians and the minatory Appleby brothers, talent agents of sorts who shamelessly throw their considerable weight around. Daniel Akst, WSJ, "‘Trio’ Review: A Cinematic Novel from William Boyd," 15 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minatory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of minatory

1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for minatory

Late Latin minatorius, from Latin minari to threaten — more at mount

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Time Traveler for minatory

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The first known use of minatory was in 1532

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Cite this Entry

“Minatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minatory. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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