threaten to do something

threaten to do something
to be likely to do something, especially something bad or unpleasant

The dam threatened to break at any moment.

Tensions are threatening to erupt into full-scale confrontation.


English dictionary. 2014.

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  • threaten to do something — phrase to be likely to do something, especially something bad or unpleasant The dam threatened to break at any moment. Tensions are threatening to erupt into full scale confrontation. Thesaurus: possible and able to be donesynonym Main entry:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • threaten — threat|en [ θretn ] verb *** 1. ) transitive to tell someone that you might or you will cause them harm, especially in order to make them do something: He s been threatening me for months. threaten to do something: The terrorists are threatening… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • threaten */*/*/ — UK [ˈθret(ə)n] / US verb Word forms threaten : present tense I/you/we/they threaten he/she/it threatens present participle threatening past tense threatened past participle threatened 1) a) [transitive] to tell someone that you might or you will… …   English dictionary

  • Threaten — Threat en, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Threatened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Threatening}.] [OE. [thorn]retenen. See {Threat}, v. t.] 1. To utter threats against; to menace; to inspire with apprehension; to alarm, or attempt to alarm, as with the promise of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • threaten — threaten, menace both mean to announce or forecast (as by word or look) an impending or probable infliction (as an evil or an injury). Threaten basically implies an attempt to dissuade or influence by promising punishment or the infliction of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • threaten — [thret′ n] vt. [ME thretnen < OE threatnian] 1. a) to make threats against; express one s intention of hurting, punishing, etc. b) to express intention to inflict (punishment, reprisal, etc.) 2. a) to indicate the likely occurrence of… …   English World dictionary

  • threaten — ► VERB 1) make or express a threat to (someone) or to do (something). 2) put at risk; endanger. 3) (of a situation or the weather) seem likely to produce (an unwelcome result). DERIVATIVES threatening adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • threaten — / Tretn/ verb 1 (T) to say that you will cause someone pain, unhappiness, or trouble if they do not do what you want: threaten to do sth: Every time they quarrel, Jan threatens to leave. | threaten sb with sth: We were threatened with the sack if …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • threaten — [[t]θre̱t(ə)n[/t]] ♦♦ threatens, threatening, threatened 1) VERB If a person threatens to do something unpleasant to you, or if they threaten you, they say or imply that they will do something unpleasant to you, especially if you do not do what… …   English dictionary

  • threaten — threat|en W2S2 [ˈθretn] v 1.) [T] to say that you will cause someone harm or trouble if they do not do what you want ▪ Postal workers are threatening a strike if they don t receive a pay increase. threaten to do sth ▪ He threatened to take them… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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