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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for threatening
  • Menacing body posture can be as threatening as a frightening facial expression, according to new research.
  • Thank you for your reply and concern regarding the role of fertilizer run-off threatening ocean life.
  • Tourism is regulated so that it encourages the culture instead of threatening it.
  • Federal authorities charged him with six counts of mailing threatening letters.
  • threatening outlets is never a winning strategy, and in many cases it may actually backfire.
  • The world has enough threatening crises to confront without accepting yet another.
  • Growing resistance is threatening global malaria-control efforts.
  • And now that roof is rotting, threatening the structural integrity of the building.
  • Global warming is threatening travel destinations worldwide.
  • threatening e-mails reminding them that this is part of their grade every week might work.
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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