1 warn sb that you may hurt, kill or punish them
personally, physically

He says he was physically threatened in an attempt to get him to sign over his rights.


She had repeatedly threatened to commit suicide.

allegedly, reportedly

She threatened him with a gun.

feel threatened

I never felt threatened by him.

2 be likely to harm/destroy sth
gravely (esp. AmE), seriously, severely

Our way of life is gravely threatened.

social unrest which seriously threatens the stability of the whole area

constantly, continually

Our marriage was constantly threatened by his other women.

appear to, seem to
be threatened with sth

Many species are now threatened with extinction.

Threaten is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑danger, ↑disaster, ↑rain, ↑union, ↑violence, ↑war, ↑weather
Threaten is used with these nouns as the object: ↑annihilation, ↑boycott, ↑civilization, ↑crackdown, ↑economy, ↑environment, ↑existence, ↑fabric, ↑foundation, ↑freedom, ↑future, ↑habitat, ↑health, ↑industrial action, ↑institution, ↑integrity, ↑interest, ↑liberty, ↑life, ↑litigation, ↑livelihood, ↑neighbour, ↑peace, ↑penalty, ↑rain, ↑rebellion, ↑reprisal, ↑resignation, ↑retaliation, ↑safety, ↑sanction, ↑sanity, ↑security, ↑sovereignty, ↑stability, ↑status quo, ↑stoppage, ↑strike, ↑suicide, ↑supply, ↑survival, ↑veto, ↑viability, ↑violence, ↑well-being, ↑wildlife, ↑witness

Collocations dictionary. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Threaten — Threat en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Threatened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Threatening}.] [OE. [thorn]retenen. See {Threat}, v. t.] 1. To utter threats against; to menace; to inspire with apprehension; to alarm, or attempt to alarm, as with the promise of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • threaten — threaten, menace both mean to announce or forecast (as by word or look) an impending or probable infliction (as an evil or an injury). Threaten basically implies an attempt to dissuade or influence by promising punishment or the infliction of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • threaten — [thret′ n] vt. [ME thretnen < OE threatnian] 1. a) to make threats against; express one s intention of hurting, punishing, etc. b) to express intention to inflict (punishment, reprisal, etc.) 2. a) to indicate the likely occurrence of… …   English World dictionary

  • Threaten — Threat en, v. i. To use threats, or menaces; also, to have a threatening appearance. [1913 Webster] Though the seas threaten, they are merciful. Shak. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • threaten — [v1] warn, pressure abuse, admonish, augur, blackmail, bluster, browbeat, bully, caution, comminate, cow, enforce, flex muscles*, forebode, forewarn, fulminate, growl, intimidate, look daggers*, make threat, menace, portend, presage, pressurize,… …   New thesaurus

  • threaten — I verb admonish, augur, be near at hand, blackmail, bode, browbeat, coerce, comminari, comminate, forebode, foreshadow, forewarn, frighten, fulminate, hector, intimidate, menace, portend, presage, terrorize, use threats II index bait (harass),… …   Law dictionary

  • threaten — O.E. þreatnian (see THREAT (Cf. threat)). Related: Threatened. Threatening in the sense of portending no good is recorded from 1520s …   Etymology dictionary

  • threaten — ► VERB 1) make or express a threat to (someone) or to do (something). 2) put at risk; endanger. 3) (of a situation or the weather) seem likely to produce (an unwelcome result). DERIVATIVES threatening adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • threaten */*/*/ — UK [ˈθret(ə)n] / US verb Word forms threaten : present tense I/you/we/they threaten he/she/it threatens present participle threatening past tense threatened past participle threatened 1) a) [transitive] to tell someone that you might or you will… …   English dictionary

  • threaten — threat|en [ θretn ] verb *** 1. ) transitive to tell someone that you might or you will cause them harm, especially in order to make them do something: He s been threatening me for months. threaten to do something: The terrorists are threatening… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • threaten — / Tretn/ verb 1 (T) to say that you will cause someone pain, unhappiness, or trouble if they do not do what you want: threaten to do sth: Every time they quarrel, Jan threatens to leave. | threaten sb with sth: We were threatened with the sack if …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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