Definition of threatening in English:


Syllabification: threat·en·ing
Pronunciation: /ˈTHretn-iNG


  • 1Having a hostile or deliberately frightening quality or manner: her mother had received a threatening letter
    More example sentences
    • His voice almost had a threatening quality to it.
    • He raised both his crutches and used them in a threatening manner towards the officers.
    • Earlier this year, the Tahsi church received a threatening letter warning against allowing Lee to attend worship services.
    menacing, intimidating, bullying, frightening, hostile
    formal minatory
  • 1.1 Law (Of behavior) showing an intention to cause bodily harm.
    More example sentences
    • He pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, breach of the peace and damaging the windscreen of a car belonging to a police officer.
    • Prior pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour and possession of an offensive weapon.
    • He pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery, two of threatening behaviour, one of possessing an offensive weapon and three of failing to surrender to bail.
  • 1.2(Of a person or situation) causing someone to feel vulnerable or at risk: she was a type he found threatening
    More example sentences
    • It has become an insecure and even threatening place for me.
    • But playing the odds is very different from tempting fate; for Shane, an emotional risk is a lot less threatening than high-stakes blackjack.
    • In general, some stalkers tend to be seen as less threatening and less dangerous than others.
  • 1.3(Of weather conditions) indicating that bad weather is likely: black threatening clouds
    More example sentences
    • As expected the course proved to be in excellent condition but as luck would have it the competitors had to contend with heavy winds and threatening conditions.
    • Outside, dark, threatening clouds covered the sun, and the air was heavy.
    • I had planned a picnic, but that was scuppered by the dark, dark, threatening clouds that loomed over Berkshire this afternoon.
    ominous, sinister, menacing, alarming, portentous, dark, black, thunderous



More example sentences
  • He pursued me threateningly and when I saw his two friends coming up behind him I realised that I was in trouble.
  • The last call for passengers heading for Chicago fills the air threateningly.
  • She glared at him threateningly and then spun around, before he could say anything abusive.

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