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

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Other Words from threatening

threateningly \ ˈthret-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce threateningly (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 In both cases, the challengers appear to be less threatening to these wealthy Republicans than are the incumbents. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Minneapolis charter amendment proposal, Fifth Congressional District primary, 'camp in a box'," 4 Aug. 2020 Stay alert and be prepared to take shelter if threatening weather approaches. Tynin Fries, The Denver Post, "Denver weather: Afternoon thunderstorms could bring hail, 70 mph winds to Eastern Plains," 19 July 2020 Beyond the simple life-and-death implications of COVID-19, Hottovy's case illustrates the seemingly limitless outcomes the virus can produce - and that while many cases are minor, some are far more threatening to an athlete's livelihood. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "'I got crushed': Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy details harrowing COVID-19 battle," 1 July 2020 In the East Bay, a major fire burned in Oak Hills Park in Pittsburg, threatening homes nearby. Tatiana Sanchez,, "Hundreds of 4th of July fires in Bay Area, many from illegal fireworks," 5 July 2020 Lori Stegmann, a former Gresham city council member and now a Multnomah County commissioner, was among those to receive a threatening message. oregonlive, "Police chief outlasts long-time mayor in bitter Gresham power struggle," 4 July 2020 Betty seems to have written the threatening message on her own. Jean Bentley,, "Dirty John: Betty Broderick," 30 June 2020 With a pandemic once more threatening to spiral out of control and protests against police violence continuing across the country, the urgency of defeating Donald Trump in November appears to have inspired a surge of donations. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Democrats Can’t Quit Their Addiction to Big-Money Donors," 30 June 2020 The debt grew more threatening within two years as the fracking boom turn to a bust in 2015. CBS News, "Chesapeake Energy, Oklahoma "fracking" pioneer, files for bankruptcy," 29 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of threatening

1530, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for threatening

Time Traveler

The first known use of threatening was in 1530

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Statistics for threatening

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Threatening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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