Something that threatens makes its danger known. Storm clouds threaten rain, and bullies threaten other kids.

Unfortunately, there are lots of people and things that threaten — it's a dangerous world. If someone threatens you with violence, you should call the police. The police may then threaten the criminal with arresting them. Nations threaten each other before going to war. You can also say a dangerous situation is threatening, like gloomy weather. Sometimes this word is used more lightheartedly, like if an old friend threatens to hug you to death.

Definitions of threaten

v to utter intentions of injury or punishment against:"He threatened me when I tried to call the police"

threaten to do something
Type of:
notify of danger, potential harm, or risk

v pose a threat to; present a danger to

endanger, imperil, jeopardise, jeopardize, menace, peril
Type of:
be, exist
have an existence, be extant

v to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds threaten rain"

“Danger threatens
Type of:
augur, auspicate, betoken, bode, forecast, foreshadow, foretell, omen, portend, predict, prefigure, presage, prognosticate
indicate by signs

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