Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A possible danger; a threat.
  • noun The quality of being threatening.
  • noun A troublesome or annoying person.
  • transitive verb To constitute a threat to; endanger.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A threat or threatening; the declaration or indication of a hostile intention, or of a probable evil to come.
  • noun Synonyms See the verb.
  • To threaten; hold out a threat against; express a hostile intention toward, or indicate danger to: followed by with before the threatened evil when expressed: as, the storm menaced the ship with destruction.
  • To hold out threats of; indicate the danger or risk of.
  • Synonyms Menace, Threaten. Threaten is of very general application, in both great and little things: as, to be threatened with a cold; a threatening cloud; to threaten an attack along the whole line. Threaten is used with infinitives, especially of action, but menace is not: as, to threaten to come, to punish. Menace belongs to dignified style and matters of moment.
  • To be threatening; indicate danger or coming harm; threaten.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To express or show an intention to inflict, or to hold out a prospect of inflicting, evil or injury upon; to threaten; -- usually followed by with before the harm threatened.
  • transitive verb To threaten, as an evil to be inflicted.
  • noun The show of an intention to inflict evil; a threat or threatening; indication of a probable evil or catastrophe to come.
  • intransitive verb To act in threatening manner; to wear a threatening aspect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a perceived threat or danger
  • noun the act of threatening
  • noun an annoying and bothersome person
  • verb to make threats (against someone); to intimidate
  • verb to endanger someone or something; to imperil or jeopardize

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

  • verb pose a threat to; present a danger to
  • verb act in a threatening manner
  • noun a threat or the act of threatening
  • noun something that is a source of danger
  • verb express a threat either by an utterance or a gesture

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *minācia, sing. of Latin mināciae, threats, menaces, from mināx, mināc-, threatening, from minārī, to threaten, from minae, threats; see men- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested ante 1300: from the Old French manace, menace, from the Latin minācia, from minax ("threatening"), from minor ("I threaten").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1303: from the Old French menacer, manecier, manechier and the Anglo-Norman manasser, from the assumed Vulgar Latin *mināciāre, from the Latin minācia, whence the noun.

Examples

  • Elsewhere, you note that the word "menace" gets attached to the sport.

    The New Yorker

  • Similar warnings are being issued across the country as Republican presidential candidates, elected officials and activists mobilize against what they describe as the menace of Islamic law in the United States.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Similar warnings are being issued across the country as Republican presidential candidates, elected officials and activists mobilize against what they describe as the menace of Islamic law in the United States.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Similar warnings are being issued across the country as Republican presidential candidates, elected officials and activists mobilize against what they describe as the menace of Islamic law in the United States.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Matching Lassick is the title menace, played surprisingly well-considering the make-up job-by character actor Stephen Furst (

    DVD Verdict

  • (The New World's great menace is a germ that makes men's thoughts audible and visible.)

    Tales for Teens (and Others)

  • And so to show they too are indeed fiscally responsible grownups who wouldn't think of instigating such a financial crisis, the headline progressives more than agree that the federal deficit is indeed a very dangerous long term menace that demands appropriate attention.

    Warren Mosler: Modern Monetary Theory: The Last Progressive Left Standing

  • Hillary has, on three separate occasions, discussed the possibility that a new, unnamed triad of possible menace is forming between Russia, China, and Iran.

    Matthew Yglesias » Luce & Machiavelli on Leadership

  • And so to show they too are indeed fiscally responsible grownups who wouldn't think of instigating such a financial crisis, the headline progressives more than agree that the federal deficit is indeed a very dangerous long term menace that demands appropriate attention.

    Warren Mosler: Modern Monetary Theory: The Last Progressive Left Standing

  • The menace is palpable, the psychology of the characters is told with insight, and the book is extremely readable.

    Book review

Comments

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  • I particularly like menace as a verb.

    February 21, 2007