- something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury, etc.; a threat: Air pollution is a menace to health.
- a person whose actions, attitudes, or ideas are considered dangerous or harmful: When he gets behind the wheel of a car, he’s a real menace.
- an extremely annoying person.
verb (used with object), men·aced, men·ac·ing.
- to utter or direct a threat against; threaten.
- to serve as a probable threat to; imperil.
verb (used without object), men·aced, men·ac·ing.
- to express or serve as a threat.
- to threaten with violence, danger, etc
- literary a threat or the act of threatening
- something menacing; a source of danger
- informal a nuisance
n.c.1300, “declaration of hostile intent,” also “act of threatening,” from Old French menace “menace, threat” (9c.), from Vulgar Latin minacia “threat, menace” (also source of Spanish amenaza, Italian minaccia), singular of Latin minaciæ “threatening things,” from minax (genitive minacis) “threatening,” from minari “threaten, jut, project,” from minæ “threats, projecting points,” from PIE root *men- (2) “to project.” Applied to persons from 1936. v.c.1300, from Old French menacer “threaten, urge” (11c.), Anglo-French manasser, from Vulgar Latin *minaciare “to threaten,” from minacia (see menace (n.)). Related: Menaced; menacing.