threat - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a situation or an activity that could cause harm or danger
    threat to:

    Officials were confident there had been no threat to public health.

    a threat to freedom/democracy

    pose a threat:

    The dispute poses a direct threat (=is a threat) to peace.

    1. a.
      [countable] someone who might defeat you or might cause problems for you

      She is not viewed as a threat by her former employer.

      threat to:

      He saw the other man as a real threat to his marriage.

    2. b.
      [countable/uncountable] the possibility that something bad is going to happen
      threat of:

      Constant threat of attack makes everyday life dangerous here.

      The threat of full-scale war has not been averted.

      face a threat:

      They face the threat of terrorism every day.

  2. 2
    [countable] an occasion when someone says that they will cause you harm or problems, especially if you do not do what they tell you to do
    make/issue a threat:

    He would not make threats he wasn’t prepared to carry out.

    threat of:

    After threats of legal action they stopped the building work.

    an idle/empty threat (=a threat that is not serious):

    This isn’t just an idle threat.

    a bomb threat:

    A bomb threat forced them to make an emergency landing.

    death threats:

    He had received death threats.