threat·​en·​ing | \ ˈthret-niŋ How to pronounce threatening (audio) , ˈthre-tᵊn-iŋ \

Definition of threatening

: expressing or suggesting a threat of harm, danger, etc. received a threatening message a threatening manner : indicating or suggesting the approach of possible trouble or danger saw threatening clouds on the horizon

Other Words from threatening

threateningly \ ˈthret-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce threatening (audio) , ˈthre-​tᵊn-​iŋ-​ \ adverb
gestured threateningly

Synonyms for threatening


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Examples of threatening in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Texas law bans the procedure after fertilization except in cases of life-threatening or severe health conditions. Editors, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2022 Many outdoor sports are intimidating for beginners, but SheJumps tries to create a fun, inclusive, non-threatening, and non-judgmental environment for participants to learn. Amelia Arvesen, Outside Online, 17 Aug. 2022 He was recently arrested on July 5 at a Glasgow hospital under suspicion of obstructing the course of justice and threatening or abusive behavior. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 July 2022 Any or all of this might be threatening or vertiginous or worse, but none of it suggests stuckness. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 11 July 2022 Bursey allegedly sent a threatening email to multiple staff members at UC Berkeley on Thursday morning, according to court documents filed in Alameda County. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 With his plea Monday, Harris admitted sending a threatening email to Wen in July. Alex Mann,, 7 Feb. 2022 Um, did anyone else get a threatening email from Proud Boys about voting? NBC news, 20 Oct. 2020 Popkin credits the law with helping avert a threat to a high school in Bethesda, Md., in late 2018, when a judge issued an emergency order against a student who allegedly made threatening statements on Snapchat. Scott Macfarlane, CBS News, 6 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of threatening

1530, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for threatening

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The first known use of threatening was in 1530

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Statistics for threatening

Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Threatening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on threatening

Nglish: Translation of threatening for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of threatening for Arabic Speakers


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