Definition of threaten
state one's intention to take hostile action against someone in retribution for something done or not done.
the unions threatened a general strike
Example of threaten
A dispute with Jordan which threatened to get messy had been resolved amicably, he said.
A store manager was threatened with a knife as robbers made off with £800 in an armed raid on a Burnley hire shop.
A trade war threatened and a giant global corporation was brought to its knees.
A year ago the inpatients ward was threatened with closure but was saved at the last minute when the doctors surgeries agreed to provide cover.
And now, just to make bad worse, another war was threatening .
Anzac Day became more intense in those days when war was once more threatening or had begun.
Both bird life (including the Kiwi) and many unique types of trees are threatened with extinction because of the brushtail possum.
By mid-2003, lack of rain threatened to push them over that edge.
Consuming nations are threatened with a worldwide oil shortage that rattles the stock and bond markets.
Despite two restraining orders and a spell in jail, he continued to threaten her, and was planning to kill her when he was finally arrested.