a. A possible danger; a threat: a careless driver who was a menace to public safety.
b. The quality of being threatening: a hint of menace in his voice.
2. A troublesome or annoying person: considered her little brother to be a menace.
tr.v. men·aced, men·ac·ing, men·ac·es
To constitute a threat to; endanger: Rome was menaced by invading armies.
[Middle English manace, from Old French, from Late Latin minācia, sing. of Latin mināciae, threats, menaces, from mināx, mināc-, threatening, from minārī, to threaten, from minae, threats; see men-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.