Threat"en (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Threatened (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Threatening.] [OE. retenen. See Threat, v. t.]


To utter threats against; to menace; to inspire with apprehension; to alarm, or attempt to alarm, as with the promise of something evil or disagreeable; to warn.

Let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. Acts iv. 17.


To exhibit the appearance of (something evil or unpleasant) as approaching; to indicate as impending; to announce the conditional infliction of; as, to threaten war; to threaten death.


The skies look grimly And threaten present blusters. Shak.

Syn. -- To menace. -- Threaten, Menace. Threaten is Anglo-Saxon, and menace is Latin. As often happens, the former is the more familiar term; the latter is more employed in formal style. We are threatened with a drought; the country is menaced with war.

By turns put on the suppliant and the lord: Threatened this moment, and the next implored. Prior.

Of the sharp ax Regardless, that o'er his devoted head Hangs menacing. Somerville.


© Webster 1913.

Threat"en, v. i.

To use threats, or menaces; also, to have a threatening appearance.

Though the seas threaten, they are merciful. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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