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English definition of “threaten”

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threaten

verb uk   /ˈθret.ən/ us  
B2 [T] to tell someone that you will kill or hurt them or cause problems if they do not do what you want: They threatened the shopkeeper with a gun. [+ to infinitive] They threatened to kill him unless he did as they asked.C1 [T] to be likely to cause harm or damage to something or someone: Changing patterns of agriculture are threatening the countryside.C2 [I] If something bad threatens to happen, it is likely to happen: Look at those clouds! There's a storm threatening.
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(Definition of threaten from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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