AskDefine | Define threaten

Dictionary Definition



1 pose a threat to; present a danger to; "The pollution is endangering the crops" [syn: endanger, jeopardize, jeopardise, menace, imperil, peril]
2 to utter intentions of injury or punishment against:"He threatened me when I tried to call the police"
3 to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds threaten rain"; "Danger threatens"

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English þrēatian


  • a UK /ˈθret.ən/


  1. To make a threat against someone; to use threats.
    He threatened me with a knife.
  2. To menace, or be dangerous.
    The rocks threatened the ship's survival.
  3. To portend, or give a warning.
    The black clouds threatened heavy rain.

Usage notes


To make a threat against someone; to use threats
  • Catalan: amenaçar
  • Dutch: bedreigen
  • French: menacer
  • German: drohen, bedrohen
  • Japanese: 脅す, 脅迫する
  • Polish: grozić, zagrażać
  • Slovene: groziti
  • Spanish: amenazar
To menace, or be dangerous
  • Catalan: amenaçar
  • Dutch: bedreigen
  • French: menacer
  • German: bedrohen
  • Japanese: 脅かす, 威嚇する
  • Polish: grozić, zagrażać
  • Slovene: groziti
  • Spanish: amenazar
To portend, or give a warning

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abuse, admonish, advise, afflict, aggrieve, alert, anticipate, apprehend, approach, augur, await, be destined, be fated, be imminent, be in store, be to be, be to come, befoul, bewitch, blight, bludgeon, bluster, bluster out of, bode, brew, browbeat, bulldoze, bully, caution, come, come on, comminate, condemn, confront, corrupt, cow, croak, crucify, cry havoc, curse, damage, daunt, defile, demoralize, denounce, deprave, despoil, destroy, disadvantage, disserve, distress, do a mischief, do evil, do ill, do wrong, do wrong by, doom, dragoon, draw near, draw nigh, draw on, endanger, envenom, expect, face, forebode, foresee, foretell, forewarn, forthcome, gather, get into trouble, give fair warning, give notice, give warning, hang over, harass, harm, have a premonition, have a presentiment, hector, hex, hope, hover, huff, hurt, impair, impend, imperil, infect, injure, intimidate, issue an ultimatum, jeopardize, jinx, lie ahead, lie over, look black, look for, look forward to, look threatening, loom, lower, maltreat, menace, mistreat, molest, near, notify, outrage, overhang, persecute, plan, play havoc with, play hob with, plot, poison, pollute, portend, preapprehend, predict, prejudice, presage, project, prophesy, put in jeopardy, savage, scathe, sound the alarm, systematically terrorize, taint, terrorize, tip, tip off, torment, torture, utter a caveat, utter threats against, violate, warn, warn against, wound, wreak havoc on, wrong
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1