Word of the DayThursday, March 15, 2001
\MIN-uh-tor-ee\ , adjective;
He was often observed peeping through the bars of a gate and making minatory gestures with his small forefinger while he scolded the sheep with an inarticulate burr, intended to strike terror into their astonished minds.
-- George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
Then, abruptly on the last page, he lapses into a kinder, gentler tone, as if wanting to leave us with a less minatory impression of himself.
-- Pankaj Mishra, "The Ground Beneath Her Feet", New Statesman, April 9, 1999
. . .state-inspired guerrilla and terrorist campaigns; maritime blockades and minatory troop concentrations; continuous threats and boycotts, etc.
-- Benny Morris, "The Core of the Conflict", New York Times, March 25, 1990
Minatory derives from Latin minatorius, from minari, "to threaten." It is related to menace.
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