Definition of threaten
threateningplay \ˈthret-niŋ, ˈthre-tən-iŋ\
1 : to utter threats against
3 : to announce as intended or possible the workers threatened a strike
4 : to cause to feel insecure or anxious felt threatened by his brother's success
1 : to utter threats
2 : to portend evil
threatenerplay \ˈthret-nər, ˈthre-tən-ər\ noun
Examples of threaten in a Sentence
The mugger threatened him with a gun.
She threatened to quit if they didn't give her a raise, but no one believed her.
Civil war has been threatening the country for years.
a marriage threatened by financial problems
Overfishing threatens the survival of certain fish species.
The latest news threatens trouble for the economy.
Recent Examples of threaten from the Web
In March, Trump threatened lawmakers who didn't back the AHCA with a primary opponent.
Forrest considered evidence that Ulbricht paid $650,000 to try to arrange the murders of five people who threatened Silk Road’s anonymity.
Pyongyang then threatens more serious damage to the United States if there is any nuclear retaliation or U.S. intervention in the conflict.
Trout's father walked back to his Hummer, pulls out a lug wrench and appeared to threaten the victim with the wrench.
But Ms. Merkel, several officials said, has concluded that there is little prospect of closing the gap with Mr. Trump on issues like trade, Russia or the Paris climate accord, which Mr. Trump has threatened to leave.
Honda has watched numerous engines fail this season, including James Hinchcliffe’s on Carb Day, and the three more that lost power Sunday threatened to put a damper on the afternoon.
The Jaguars threatened for more, but Arkansas State pulled starter Tyler Kirby (4-2) with two outs in the second and reliever Brandon Stuckenschneider held USA without another run until the fifth.
Shake your head, rattle your cane, threaten kids with your garden hose:
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'threaten'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of threaten
THREATEN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of threaten for English Language Learners
: to say that you will harm someone or do something unpleasant or unwanted especially in order to make someone do what you want
: to be something that is likely to cause harm to (someone or something) : to be a threat to (someone or something)
THREATEN Defined for Kids
Definition of threaten for Students
1 : to show an intention to do harm or something unwanted He threatened to quit.
2 : to give warning of by an indication The clouds threatened rain.
Seen and Heard
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