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Synonyms of threaten in English:


  • 1 how dare you threaten me?
    menace, intimidate, browbeat, bully, cow, pressurize, lean on, terrorize, frighten, scare, alarm;
    make threats against, issue threats to, threaten to harm/kill
  • 2 the rise of nationalism could threaten the stability of Europe
    endanger, be a danger to, be a threat to, menace, imperil, put at risk, make vulnerable, expose to danger, put in jeopardy, jeopardize, drive a nail into the coffin of
    archaic peril
  • 3 the air was raw and threatened rain
    warn of, be a warning of, give a warning of, promise, presage, augur, portend, foreshadow, prophesy, be an omen of;
    foretell, herald, bode, announce, be a harbinger of, be an indication of, indicate, point to;
    be a sign of, signal, signify, mean, spell, add up to, amount to, be evidence of
  • 4 as rain threatened, the party was moved indoors
    be likely (to happen), be imminent, be (close) at hand, be near, be close, be approaching, be on the horizon, be just around the corner, be brewing, be gathering, be looming, be coming (soon), be coming up, be on the way, be expected, be anticipated, be in prospect, be in the wind, be in the air, be forthcoming, be impending;
    hang over someone
    informal be on the cards
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    threaten, menace, intimidate
    When one person threatens another they indicate or say that they will do something harmful or unpleasant if that person does not comply with their wishes. They can threaten the person ( robbers were threatening the shop assistant with a gun), or they can threaten the thing that will happen ( the general threatened an assault on the city | his attackers threatened to kill him). Threaten can also be used of something that constitutes a danger ( the Amazonian forest is being threatened by a major oil extraction project) and of undesirable events that are thought to be likely ( the slick threatens to become the world's largest).Menace typically occurs as the adjective menacing and, compared to threaten, is less often used of active threats made by one person to another than of an impression, attitude, or more general danger ( he was a menacing, attacking centre-forward | pristine Amazonian forest is being menaced by an oil extraction project).To intimidate someone is to behave in such a way as to frighten them into submission or inaction ( one witness had disappeared and two more had been intimidated). A person or thing may also unintentionally intimidate someone by appearing so formidable that the other loses confidence ( I was intimidated by the whole idea of Cambridge); this sense is often conveyed by the adjectival form intimidating ( she was tall, with a most intimidating manner).
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