From Middle English threte, thret, thrat, thræt, threat, from Old English þrēat (“crowd, swarm, troop, army, press; pressure, trouble, calamity, oppression, force, violence, threat”), from Proto-Germanic *þrautaz, closely tied to Proto-Germanic *þrautą (“displeasure, complaint, grievance, labour, toil”), from Proto-Indo-European *trewd- (“to squeeze, push, press”), whence also Middle Low German drōt (“threat, menace, danger”), Middle High German drōz (“annoyance, disgust, horror, terror, fright”), Icelandic þraut (“struggle, labour, distress”), Latin trūdō (“push”, verb).
threat (plural threats)
- An expression of intent to injure or punish another.
- An indication of potential or imminent danger.
2013 May-June, Katrina G. Claw, “Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
- Many genes with reproductive roles also have antibacterial and immune functions, which indicate that the threat of microbial attack on the sperm or egg may be a major influence on rapid evolution during reproduction.
- A person or object that is regarded as a danger; a menace.
2011 September 2, Phil McNulty, “Bulgaria 0-3 England”, in BBC:
- Rooney's United team-mate Chris Smalling was given his debut at right-back and was able to adjust to the international stage in relatively relaxed fashion as Bulgaria barely posed a threat of any consequence.
expression of intent to injure or punish another
indication of imminent danger
person regarded as a danger
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
From Middle English threten, from Old English þrēatian (“to press, oppress, repress, correct, threaten”). Akin to Middle Dutch drōten (“to threaten”).
threat (third-person singular simple present threats, present participle threating, simple past and past participle threated)
- (transitive) To press; urge; compel.
- (transitive, archaic) To threaten.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.vii:
- An hideous Geant horrible and hye, / That with his talnesse seemd to threat the skye […]
- 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, V. i. 37:
- O yes, and soundless too; / For you have stolen their buzzing, Antony, / And very wisely threat before you sting.
- (intransitive) To use threats; act or speak menacingly; threaten.