Definition of menace in English:
- Leonard was jailed for 13 months after a judge told him he had not only been a danger but a menace to other road users.
- Even more important, they might fail to notice a menace or threat which if not guarded against might harm or even destroy them, their regime, and possibly even the state as well.
- During sentencing, Judge Hernandez stated that Diane was dangerous and a menace to society.
- Some will argue that this is to develop an atmosphere of doom-laden menace - the gathering thunder, both political and spiritual, looming on the horizon.
- Bovell and his band conjured up an atmosphere of potent menace and seething sensuality.
- All Pinter's plays have a common atmosphere of darkness, menace and psychological intrigue.
- But in the hands of the wrong people, a Rottweiler or a big, powerful dog of any breed is an absolute menace.
- Ben is doing well, he is full of cheek and is a complete menace, good fun though.
verb[with object] Back to top
- McDonagh menaced him into believing he was in danger of being attacked.
- The elephants have menaced the sprawling plantation ever since, and the masters of Elephant Walk have relied on their loyal native servants to drive the beasts away should they ever get ornery.
- General Vandamme was heard to shout that they would be masters at Tombigbee and menaced them with his sword and the threat of drowning.
The root of menace is Latin minae ‘threats’. The original English sense, which survives mainly in legal contexts, was also ‘a threat’—the Larceny Act of 1861 made it a criminal offence to demand money with menaces, and the phrase has been used in subsequent Acts dealing with similar offences. In the sense ‘a person or thing that threatens danger or catastrophe’, menace is recorded from the mid 19th century, but has since progressively weakened to mean ‘an inconvenience, an annoyance, a nuisance’. There are two cartoon characters called Dennis the Menace: the British Dennis is in a strip cartoon and made his first appearance in issue 452 of the comic the Beano on 17 March 1951. The American Dennis is a character in a single-cell cartoon and appeared just five days earlier in sixteen American newspapers.
- Example sentences
- Maybe the menacers were just a bunch of rowdy, irresponsible kids on an adrenaline rush - no conspiracies, no evil plots.
- We tell them we need them to be contributors, not menacers to society.
- Three days later, after the young secretary identified one of her menacers as a former police agent, a fifth thug threatened her life as well.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.