Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “threat”

threat

noun [C] uk   /θret/ us  
B2 a suggestion that something unpleasant or violent will happen, especially if a particular action or order is not followed: [+ to infinitive] She carried out her threat to throw away any clothes that were left on the floor. The threat of jail failed to deter him from petty crime. Drunken drivers pose a serious threat (= cause a lot of harm) to other road users. He says he'll tell the authorities but it's just an empty threat (= it will not happen).Dangers and threats be under threat of sth to be in a situation where people are threatening you with something bad or unpleasant: She left the country under threat of arrest if she returned.Unsafe and insecure
(Definition of threat from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of threat?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Dangers and threats, but you might be interested in these topics from the Fear and danger topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “threat” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

roost

When birds roost, they go somewhere to rest or sleep.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More