threat

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English threte, thret, thrat, thræt, threat, from Old English þrēat (crowd, swarm, troop, army, press; pressure, trouble, calamity, oppression, force, violence, threat), closely tied to Proto-Germanic *þrautą (displeasure, complaint, grievance, labour, toil), from Proto-Indo-European *trewd- (to squeeze, push, press), whence also Middle Low German drōt (threat, menace, danger), Middle High German drōz (annoyance, disgust, horror, terror, fright), Icelandic þraut (struggle, labour, distress), Latin trūdere (to push).

Noun[edit]

threat (plural threats)

  1. An expression of intent to injure or punish another.
  2. An indication of imminent danger.
    • 2013 May-June, Katrina G. Claw, “Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3: 
      Many genes with reproductive roles also have antibacterial and immune functions, which indicate that the threat of microbial attack on the sperm or egg may be a major influence on rapid evolution during reproduction.
  3. A person or object that is regarded as a danger; a menace.
    • 2011 September 2, Phil McNulty, “Bulgaria 0-3 England”, BBC:
      Rooney's United team-mate Chris Smalling was given his debut at right-back and was able to adjust to the international stage in relatively relaxed fashion as Bulgaria barely posed a threat of any consequence.
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English threten, from Old English þrēatian (to press, oppress, repress, correct, threaten). Akin to Middle Dutch drōten (to threaten).

Verb[edit]

threat (third-person singular simple present threats, present participle threating, simple past and past participle threated)

  1. (transitive) To press; urge; compel.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To threaten.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.vii:
      An hideous Geant horrible and hye, / That with his talnesse seemd to threat the skye []
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, V. i. 37:
      O yes, and soundless too; / For you have stolen their buzzing, Antony, / And very wisely threat before you sting.
  3. (intransitive) To use threats; act or speak menacingly; threaten.

Anagrams[edit]