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menace

[men-is] /ˈmɛn ɪs/
noun
1.
something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.; a threat:
Air pollution is a menace to health.
2.
a person whose actions, attitudes, or ideas are considered dangerous or harmful:
When he gets behind the wheel of a car, he's a real menace.
3.
an extremely annoying person.
verb (used with object), menaced, menacing.
4.
to utter or direct a threat against; threaten.
5.
to serve as a probable threat to; imperil.
verb (used without object), menaced, menacing.
6.
to express or serve as a threat.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Middle French < Latin minācia, equivalent to mināc- (stem of mināx) jutting out, threatening + -ia -ia
Related forms
menacer, noun
menacingly, adverb
nonmenacing, adjective
premenace, noun, verb (used with object), premenaced, premenacing.
unmenaced, adjective
unmenacing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for menace
  • Cunningham likes her politics served up with equal doses of menace and inanity.
  • For example, the initial action ends when Catwoman has discovered the jewel, with a menace lurking in the background.
  • Now, job losses menace the market.
  • While pursuing suspects, Defoe falls in love, adding the novel's requisite romance and predictable menace to the enamored couple.
  • If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that zombies are a menace to society.
  • Its airwaves and public discourse are filled with menace and concern.
  • The power of this beautifully produced book is augmented by Moser's eerie woodcuts, which crystallize the aura of menace.
  • Spring some lovable, '50s-style monsters to battle the extraterrestrial menace.
  • Someone who is a menace to society is a criminal.
  • Without question, cell phones have become a national menace.
British Dictionary definitions for menace

menace

/ˈmɛnɪs/
verb
1.
to threaten with violence, danger, etc
noun
2.
(literary) a threat or the act of threatening
3.
something menacing; a source of danger
4.
(informal) a nuisance
Derived Forms
menacer, noun
menacing, adjective
menacingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: ultimately related to Latin minax threatening, from mināri to threaten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for menace
n.

c.1300, "declaration of hostile intent," also "act of threatening," from Old French menace "menace, threat" (9c.), from Vulgar Latin minacia "threat, menace" (also source of Spanish amenaza, Italian minaccia), singular of Latin minaciæ "threatening things," from minax (genitive minacis) "threatening," from minari "threaten, jut, project," from minæ "threats, projecting points," from PIE root *men- (2) "to project." Applied to persons from 1936.

v.

c.1300, from Old French menacer "threaten, urge" (11c.), Anglo-French manasser, from Vulgar Latin *minaciare "to threaten," from minacia (see menace (n.)). Related: Menaced; menacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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