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threatening

[thret-n-ing] /ˈθrɛt n ɪŋ/
adjective
1.
tending or intended to menace:
threatening gestures.
2.
causing alarm, as by being imminent; ominous; sinister:
threatening clouds.
Origin of threatening
1520-1530
1520-30; threaten + -ing2
Related forms
threateningly, adverb
nonthreatening, adjective
nonthreateningly, adverb
unthreatening, adjective
unthreateningly, adverb
Synonyms
2. See imminent, ominous.

threaten

[thret-n] /ˈθrɛt n/
verb (used with object)
1.
to utter a threat against; menace:
He threatened the boy with a beating.
2.
to be a menace or source of danger to:
Sickness threatened her peace of mind.
3.
to offer (a punishment, injury, etc.) by way of a threat:
They threatened swift retaliation.
4.
to give an ominous indication of:
The clouds threaten rain.
verb (used without object)
5.
to utter or use threats.
6.
to indicate impending evil or mischief.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English thretnen, Old English thrēatnian, derivative of thrēat pressure, oppression. See threat, -en1
Related forms
threatener, noun
outthreaten, verb (used with object)
prethreaten, verb (used with object)
rethreaten, verb
Synonyms
2. endanger.
Antonyms
2. protect, defend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for threatening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was moaning and complaining and threatening all the world, including his father and mother.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • But it settled down again, black and threatening, before spring came.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Monday dawned cloudy and threatening, as is usual with celebration days.

    On a Donkey's Hurricane Deck R. Pitcher Woodward
  • The political controversy, however fierce and threatening, is only for power.

    Slavery Ordained of God Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
  • "Yes, you have got him," she said, her voice shaking and threatening to break.

    Old Judge Priest Irvin S. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for threatening

threaten

/ˈθrɛtən/
verb
1.
(transitive) to be a threat to
2.
to be a menacing indication of (something); portend: dark clouds threatened rain
3.
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to express a threat to (a person or people)
Derived Forms
threatener, noun
threatening, adjective
threateningly, adverb
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 threatening

threaten

v.

Old English þreatnian (see threat). Related: Threatened. Threatening in the sense of "portending no good" is recorded from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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