Definition of threat
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
Examples of threat in a Sentence
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
Recent Examples of threat from the Web
The financial threat this time around looks lower than in the case of Sudan, when America’s authorities withdrew the bank’s access to dollar clearing for some transactions for a year.
As a result, both mother and daughter are far more alert to a potential threat.
The White House, in the Obama and Trump administrations, has seen the militarization of the South China Sea as a threat to stability in the resource-rich region, where ships from numerous countries have long fished.
While the name of this growing threat might sound funny, being a victim of it is no joke.
Most migrants who arrive at the shelter are single men, and in interviews migrants mentioned that President Trump’s threat of separating women from their children had led to a decrease in migration by those groups.
But neonicotinoids also find their way into pollen and nectar, posing a threat to pollinators.
In April, Ann Coulter pulled out of a speech on campus after more threats of violence.
A case in point is Johnny Eric Williams, an assistant professor of sociology at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, which actually shut the campus Wednesday after threats resulting from an article about him on a conservative website.
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.
Origin and Etymology of threat
Middle English thret coercion, threat, from Old English thrēat coercion; akin to Middle High German drōz annoyance, Latin trudere to push, thrust
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of threat
First Known Use of threat
before 12th century
THREAT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of threat for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of threat for Students
1 : the act of showing an intention to do harm
2 : someone or something that threatens the threat of punishment
Legal Definition of threat
: an expression of an intention to injure another : menace 1 criminal laws against making terroristic threats
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