Anything that's threatening is ominous, or scary on purpose. A bully's deep, threatening voice might frighten other children in the neighborhood.

Threatening things are done in a way that expresses an intention to hurt someone. A threatening letter from your neighbor might warn of his plan to call the police if you play your music too loudly. Another neighbor angrily shaking a fist in the direction of your barking dog is threatening too. Unintentionally threatening things include looming storm clouds and terrifying waves crashing onto the beach after a hurricane.

Definitions of threatening
  1. adjective
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    “his threatening behavior”
    synonyms: baleful, forbidding, menacing, minacious, minatory, ominous, sinister
    frightening because of an awareness of danger
  2. adjective
    darkened by clouds
    synonyms: heavy, lowering, sullen
    full of or covered with clouds
Word Family