threat

noun
\ ˈthret How to pronounce threat (audio) \

Definition of threat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage
2 : one that threatens
3 : an indication of something impending the sky held a threat of rain

threat

verb
threated; threating; threats

Definition of threat (Entry 2 of 2)

archaic

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Examples of threat in a Sentence

Noun

He was willing to use violence and threats to get what he wanted. She ignored their threats and continued to do what she felt was right. a country under threat of civil war
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mishandling the problem could create decades of security threats in the U.S. and Europe, and several American allies are bungling this test. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The West’s Foreign Fighter Problem," 12 Apr. 2019 In an age when rising seas pose a threat to coastal cities across the globe—including Africa, Southeast Asia, and northern Europe—BIG proposes an almost ironic solution: a city on the sea. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Is Oceanix City by Bjarke Ingels the Real-Life Lost Continent of Atlantis?," 12 Apr. 2019 Despite two summits between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, there is no reduction in the nuclear threat posed by North Korea to the United States. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Claims Success in New Missile Defense Test," 26 Mar. 2019 Pharrell and Helen Lasichanh, Alicia Silverstone, China Chow and Billy Idol, King Princess, Maria Sharapova, Nina Dobrev, and Juno Temple made their way in, defying threats from the dark rain clouds above. David Graver, Vogue, "Rimowa and Garage Magazine Celebrate Artist Alex Israel at a Frieze Los Angeles Fete," 19 Feb. 2019 But the threat of securities class actions is unquestionably on the minds of executives contemplating IPOs. Hal Scott, WSJ, "The SEC’s Misguided Attack on Shareholder Arbitration," 22 Feb. 2019 That may prove to be a serious strategic blunder by Putin—and this new threat is another. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As a Key Arms-Control Treaty Is Set to Die, Russia Threatens to Target U.S. with New Nukes," 20 Feb. 2019 If recalcitrant journalists or their sources don’t bow to legal threats, the aggrieved can go on the offensive—in other words, get down and dirty. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 But in the wake of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has already proven that the biggest threat to privacy is its own service. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Facebook’s New York privacy pop-up was small, weird, and filled with sugar," 14 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'threat.' 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 threat

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for threat

Noun

Middle English thret coercion, threat, from Old English thrēat coercion; akin to Middle High German drōz annoyance, Latin trudere to push, thrust

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Statistics for threat

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for threat

The first known use of threat was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for threat

threat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of threat

: a statement saying you will be harmed if you do not do what someone wants you to do
: someone or something that could cause trouble, harm, etc.
: the possibility that something bad or harmful could happen

threat

noun
\ ˈthret How to pronounce threat (audio) \

Kids Definition of threat

1 : the act of showing an intention to do harm
2 : someone or something that threatens the threat of punishment

threat

noun

Legal Definition of threat

: an expression of an intention to injure another : menace sense 1 criminal laws against making terroristic threats

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More from Merriam-Webster on threat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with threat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for threat

Spanish Central: Translation of threat

Nglish: Translation of threat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of threat for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about threat

Comments on threat

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