Definition of threat in English:

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Pronunciation: /θrɛt/


1A statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done: members of her family have received death threats
More example sentences
  • The inspectors had received repeated death threats from landlords who objected to government inspections.
  • Death threats sent by others are being taken seriously as intent to kill the men on their release.
  • So she tried suicide threats, guilt trips, manipulation, and even death threats.
threatening remark, warning, ultimatum, intimidating remark
rare commination
(threats) menaces, menacing
1.1 Law A menace of bodily harm, such as may restrain a person’s freedom of action.
Example sentences
  • Indeed, there was some evidence in this case that he had made threats of harm to others.
  • He was alleged to have forced the complainant by violence or threats to engage in sexual activity with him.
  • There was yelling and posturing, but no threats of violence or physical contact.
2A person or thing likely to cause damage or danger: hurricane damage poses a major threat to many coastal communities
More example sentences
  • Magistrates said the pub had caused a public nuisance and was likely to cause a threat to public safety in the future.
  • The irony is that if there is a threat to Australia, it will most likely come from our region.
  • Assuming she stays free of injury, the long jump is likely to be the main threat to her quintuple ambition.
2.1 [in singular] The possibility of trouble, danger, or ruin: the company faces the threat of liquidation proceedings [mass noun]: thousands of rail freight jobs came under threat
More example sentences
  • Under threat are the turtle, fresh water prawn and crocodiles in the nearby sanctuary.
  • Under threat of takeover, once-sleepy executives rushed to reshape their companies.
  • Under threat of further violence he was ordered to hand over his money bag but he refused and shouted at them to leave him alone.
danger, peril, hazard, menace, risk
possibility, chance, probability, likelihood, risk, danger, peril, menace, fear, prospect


Old English thrēat 'oppression', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch verdrieten 'grieve', German verdriessen 'irritate'.

Words that rhyme with threat

abet, aiguillette, anisette, Annette, Antoinette, arête, Arlette, ate, baguette, banquette, barbette, barrette, basinet, bassinet, beget, Bernadette, beset, bet, Bette, blanquette, Brett, briquette, brochette, brunette (US brunet), Burnett, cadet, caravanette, cassette, castanet, charette, cigarette (US cigaret), clarinet, Claudette, Colette, coquette, corvette, couchette, courgette, croquette, curette, curvet, Debrett, debt, dinette, diskette, duet, epaulette (US epaulet), flageolet, flannelette, forget, fret, galette, gazette, Georgette, get, godet, grisette, heavyset, Jeanette, jet, kitchenette, La Fayette, landaulet, launderette, layette, lazaret, leatherette, let, Lett, lorgnette, luncheonette, lunette, Lynette, maisonette, majorette, maquette, Marie-Antoinette, marionette, Marquette, marquisette, martinet, met, minaret, minuet, moquette, motet, musette, Nanette, net, noisette, nonet, novelette, nymphet, octet, Odette, on-set, oubliette, Paulette, pet, Phuket, picquet, pillaret, pincette, pipette, piquet, pirouette, planchette, pochette, quartet, quickset, quintet, regret, ret, Rhett, roomette, rosette, roulette, satinette, septet, serviette, sestet, set, sett, sextet, silhouette, soubrette, spinet, spinneret, statuette, stet, stockinet, sublet, suffragette, Suzette, sweat, thickset, Tibet, toilette, tret, underlet, upset, usherette, vedette, vet, vignette, vinaigrette, wagonette, wet, whet, winceyette, yet, Yvette

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