Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An expression of an intention to inflict pain, injury, evil, or punishment.
  • n. An indication of impending danger or harm.
  • n. One that is regarded as a possible danger; a menace.
  • transitive v. Archaic To threaten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An expression of intent to injure or punish another.
  • n. An indication of imminent danger.
  • n. A person or object that is regarded as a danger; a menace.
  • v. To threaten.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The expression of an intention to inflict evil or injury on another; the declaration of an evil, loss, or pain to come; menace; threatening; denunciation.
  • v. To threaten.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To press; urge; compel.
  • To threaten.
  • To use threats; act or speak menacingly; threaten.
  • n. Crowd; press; pressure.
  • n. Vexation; torment.
  • n. A menace; a denunciation of ill to befall some one; a declaration of an intention or a determination to inflict punishment, loss, or pain on another.
  • n. In law, any menace of such a nature and extent as to unsettle the mind of the person on whom it operates, and to preclude that free voluntary action which is necessary to assent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who inspires fear or dread
  • n. declaration of an intention or a determination to inflict harm on another
  • n. something that is a source of danger
  • n. a warning that something unpleasant is imminent

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English thrēat, oppression; see treud- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English þrēat ("crowd, army"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Surely if the main threat is from middle eastern terrorist groups largely, but not exclusively, recruiting middle eastern, asian and indian people then it follows that the resulting stop/search statistics reflect that?

    Police Search Too Few White People SHOCK!! « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • Right now though, the main threat is Zod, so there's that going on. spinster

    Smallville Renewed for Tenth Season | /Film

  • What's true now is that many see Stewart as a title threat after his win Monday.

    SI.com

  • In effect, the United States' leaders have twisted the meaning of the term 'threat' so as to render it a catch-all phase referring to dangers conjectured as well as actual, maturing at some indefinite time in the future as well as in the near term, and covering persons unwitting of their associations who provide even intangible forms of 'aid and comfort' to anyone who may be placed in the former broad categories.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • It's true, Junior may not be the title threat you'd expect from his standing as the most popular driver seven years running, but he's far from overrated; he just faced a completely different set of expectations than everyone else.

    SI.com

  • Former House speaker Newt Gingrich gave an interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network to speak about his past indiscretions, the coming presidential race and what he calls the threat to "Judeo-Christian society."

    Newt Gingrich: 'Passion for the country' led to personal indiscretions (video)

  • For his part, Wilders said he is happy with the verdict and will continue to speak out against what he calls the threat of Islam.

    Dutch Court Acquits Anti-Islam Lawmaker

  • Too often, it's like terrorist threats - when the threat is abated and dealt with and unsuccessful, then you never knew the threat was there in the beginning.

    Heath Harrison: Rahall Touts Seniority, Accomplishments On Mine Safety

  • Increasingly, the threat is also from "lone terrorists" inspired by al Qaeda, whose plots are more difficult to detect.

    Al Qaeda Remains Top Threat, U.K. Officials Say

  • Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire businessman and one of Egypt's highest profile Copts, founded a secular political party this year to counter what he describes as the threat of a "new dictatorship" by Islamist parties.

    An 'Arab Winter' Chills Christians

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