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English definition of “threaten”

threaten

verb     /ˈθret.ən/
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 .Dangers and threats C1 [T] to be likely to cause harm or damage to something or someone: Changing patterns of agriculture are threatening the countryside .Dangers and threatsDamaging and spoilingDestroying and demolishing C2 [I] If something bad threatens to happen , it is likely to happen : Look at those clouds ! There's a storm threatening.Possible and probable
(Definition of threaten verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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