Use the word "threat" whenever someone or something is about to cause harm.
These sentences show how "threat' is used as a noun:
- Threats of violence did not stop the protestors from walking in the street.
- A gas leak in the neighborhood created a threat to public safety, so the area was evacuated.
- Smoking is a serious threat to your health.
- Global climate change is a threat that everyone must take seriously.
As a verb, the word changes to "threaten."
- Cold weather is threatening the citrus crop in California.
- A man threatened another man with a gun as they were driving on the highway.
- Bill always threatens to call the police whenever the kids across the street have big, loud parties.
- Several people in the building were threatened by the fire, but they all escaped uninjured.
- Are you threatening me? (This question is in the present continuous tense.)
As an adjective, use "threatening."
- Someone sent the newspaper a threatening letter.
- A threatening snowstorm caused the airport to delay air traffic.
- The situation in Syria is so threatening, aid workers are afraid to enter certain areas.
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This page was first published on January 12, 2013. It was updated on January 23, 2017.