menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs How to pronounce menace (audio) \

Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a show of intention to inflict harm : threat exploding in menaces and threats of vengeance— George Meredith
2a : one that represents a threat : danger the intoxicated motorist is a menace to life and limb— Wayne Hughes
b : an annoying person her friends were beginning to find her a menace— Guy McCrone

menace

verb
menaced; menacing

Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a show of intention to harm menaced him with immediate expulsion— G. B. Shaw
2 : to represent or pose a threat to : endanger menaced by a group of toughs after his car goes kaput— Leah Rozen

intransitive verb

: to act in a threatening manner The bear menaced with its mouth wide open.

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Examples of menace in a Sentence

Noun There was an atmosphere of menace in the city. She could hear the menace in his voice. Verb menaced the children by leaving them in the car unattended stockpiles of nuclear weapons that continue to menace the inhabitants of this planet
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While domestic, nationalist impetus could explain the sorties, as could a desire to place diplomatic pressure on the United States, Taiwan sees the jet drills as more than a symbolic menace. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 Hurricane Henri weakened to tropical storm status Sunday but remained a menace to the northeastern U.S., driving intense storm surge and threatening to pound some areas with up to 10 inches of rain. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 22 Aug. 2021 Once considered largely a criminal menace, ransomware attacks are now treated by the federal government as a national security threat. BostonGlobe.com, 10 July 2021 Domingo is terrific as X, a purring menace whose accent tends to slip and abruptly show his Nigerian immigrant roots when he gets worked up. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 30 June 2021 The rhetorical gambit is for the text to mimic the facially neutral language of civil rights even as the rhetoric around the bill conjures up a Marxist menace. Jake Bittle, The New Republic, 8 June 2021 The specter of contagion and death from a submicroscopic menace had the whole world living in fear, with particular concern for the most vulnerable among us. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 Mar. 2021 Sophomore Celeste Taylor has blossomed into a two-way menace. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Mar. 2021 This crisis is real and a public health menace, especially for those who cannot access drug treatment, the most effective way to address the disease of addiction. New York Times, 5 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Though no longer a hurricane, Ida was continuing to menace much of the Northeast. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2021 Farmers and residents across northern Wisconsin say wolves menace their pets and livestock and hunting is the only way to control them. Todd Richmond, ajc, 12 Aug. 2021 The only lasting solution is for permissive host countries like Russia to crack down on the hackers in their jurisdictions and actually arrest the people behind the constantly shifting array of cybergangs that menace the web. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, 5 Aug. 2021 Heavy rain appeared to menace the Gulf Coast, and authorities predicted the possibility of damaging thunderstorms in the Ohio Valley. Washington Post, 19 June 2021 First, the government must prioritize the prosecution of those who menace election officials. Lawrence Norden And Matthew Weil, CNN, 16 June 2021 But whereas the Kremlin has been known to reach deep into Europe to menace its opponents, Belarus is a small country, with resources far more limited than Russia’s. Washington Post, 31 May 2021 The on-location scenery is astonishing—the jumbled color-box houses of Tasiilaq, the thawing Arctic ice sheet, actual polar bears who menace schoolchildren (and attack foreign dignitaries). Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 27 Apr. 2021 Perhaps the biggest risk of conflict, though, is in the Taiwan Strait, where China has been dispatching warplanes to menace the democratic island, which Beijing considers a rogue territory. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menace.' 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 menace

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for menace

Noun and Verb

Middle English manace, from Anglo-French manace, menace, from Latin minacia, from minac-, minax threatening, from minari to threaten — more at mount

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Learn More About menace

Time Traveler for menace

Time Traveler

The first known use of menace was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near menace

menaccanite

menace

menacing

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Statistics for menace

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Menace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/menace. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for menace

menace

noun

English Language Learners Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a dangerous or possibly harmful person or thing
: someone who causes trouble or annoyance
: a dangerous or threatening quality

menace

verb

English Language Learners Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to threaten harm to (someone or something)

menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs How to pronounce menace (audio) \

Kids Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : danger sense 2 That vicious dog is a menace.
2 : an annoying person

menace

verb
menaced; menacing

Kids Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to threaten harm to The pirates menaced the ship's passengers.

menace

noun
men·​ace | \ ˈme-nəs How to pronounce menace (audio) \

Legal Definition of menace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a show of an intention to inflict especially physical harm accomplished against a person's will by means of force,…menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injuryCalifornia Penal Code
2 : one who represents a threat

menace

verb
menaced; menacing

Legal Definition of menace (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a show of intention to harm
2 : to represent or pose a threat to

intransitive verb

: to act in a threatening manner

Other Words from menace

menacingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on menace

Nglish: Translation of menace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of menace for Arabic Speakers

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