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threat

[thret] /θrɛt/
noun
1.
a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace:
He confessed under the threat of imprisonment.
2.
an indication or warning of probable trouble:
The threat of a storm was in the air.
3.
a person or thing that threatens.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
4.
Archaic. to threaten.
Origin
900
before 900; (noun) Middle English threte, Old English thrēat pressure, oppression; cognate with Old Norse thraut hardship, bitter end; (v.) Middle English threten, Old English thrēatian to press, threaten
Related forms
counterthreat, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for threat
  • There's also the threat of pathogens that could thrive in crowded pens and escape to harm natural fish populations.
  • Scientists knew that turbines posed a threat to birds, but nobody had predicted they'd be such a problem for bats.
  • The threat to his life's work could hardly have come at a worse moment.
  • Not even the threat of a cholera outbreak slowed his pace.
  • The threat perception to self preservation is checked first and the rest are ordained stochastically as per their significance.
  • On the other side are those who argue for a civilian response to the threat, focussed on a wider use of encryption.
  • By a wide margin, the biggest threat to our nation's balance sheet is the skyrocketing cost of health care.
  • The prospect of radiation introduced a threat all its own, as invisible as the tsunami was vivid, and throbbing with history.
  • Even a short walk on the street held the threat of an ugly brawl.
  • Innocuous as this may seem, it is the only commandment that comes with an inducement instead of an implied threat.
British Dictionary definitions for threat

threat

/θrɛt/
noun
1.
a declaration of the intention to inflict harm, pain, or misery
2.
an indication of imminent harm, danger, or pain
3.
a person or thing that is regarded as dangerous or likely to inflict pain or misery
verb
4.
an archaic word for threaten
Word Origin
Old English; related to Old Norse thraut, Middle Low German drōt
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 threat
threat
O.E. þreat "crowd, troop," also "oppression, menace," related to þreotan "to trouble, weary," from P.Gmc. *threutanan (cf. Ger. verdrießen "to vex"), from PIE *trud- "push, press" (cf. L. trudere "to press, thrust," O.C.S. trudu "oppression," M.Ir. trott "quarrel, conflict," M.Welsh cythrud "torture, torment, afflict"). Sense of "conditional declaration of hostile intention" was in O.E. The verb threaten is O.E. þreatnian; threatening in the sense of "portending no good" is recorded from 1530.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with threat
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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9
8
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