verb (used with object)
to utter a threat against; menace: He threatened the boy with a beating.
to be a menace or source of danger to: Sickness threatened her peace of mind.
to offer (a punishment, injury, etc.) by way of a threat: They threatened swift retaliation.
to give an ominous indication of: The clouds threaten rain.
verb (used without object)
to utter or use threats.
to indicate impending evil or mischief.

before 1000; Middle English thretnen, Old English thrēatnian, derivative of thrēat pressure, oppression. See threat, -en1

threatener, noun
outthreaten, verb (used with object)
prethreaten, verb (used with object)
rethreaten, verb

2. endanger.

2. protect, defend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To threatened
World English Dictionary
threaten (ˈθrɛtən)
1.  (tr) to be a threat to
2.  to be a menacing indication of (something); portend: dark clouds threatened rain
3.  (when tr, may take a clause as object) to express a threat to (a person or people)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Example sentences
While wild chimps are officially endangered, captive chimps are only threatened.
It is responsible for enforcing the laws that protect our threatened fisheries
  and endangered marine mammals.
View the slide show of threatened species that have yet to make it onto the
  endangered species list.
Paradoxically, both are threatened by the way technology has made that easier
  than ever before.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature