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
Critics counter that the road, located within the sprawling Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, threatens migratory birds and other animals, including caribou, brown bears and sea otters.
Barely a year ago, with the wounds from the refugee crisis still gaping, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, could be heard warning that a British vote to quit the EU threatened to bring about the collapse of western civilisation.
U of L athletics director Tom Jurich lashed out at those comments in a radio interview last year, threatening to take the men's and women's basketball teams elsewhere.
The suspects fled to Calumet City, Ill., according to police, and are suspected of robbing a female making a deposit at a Bank of America ATM and threatening her with a baseball bat.
Green and Saiger say those prohibitions might be threatened by the Supreme Court’s latest ruling.
Supporters of the restrictions call them a measured approach to containing a serious problem threatening to destroy the community character of the College Area.
Two days after Venezuelan citizens voted against a proposition that would allow President Nicolas Maduro's administration to remain in power, the United States government is threatening sanctions against the country if that vote is not honored.
At one point, the video shows, the officer threatened to kill the youth.
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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