Menace / Threat difference

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Have you seen Dennis the Menace? It’s one of my all time favourite comedy movies and I definitely recommend watching it in case you haven’t seen it yet!

Dennis, the main character, is a little boy, who is called a menace because he’s annoying and keeps causing trouble.

Both menace and threat are used to describe someone or something that is dangerous and will probably cause trouble:

  • I don’t see my new coworker as a threat to my position in the office.
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • If you drink and drive, you are a menace to public safety.
  • I could hear the menace in Jenny’s voice.

However, threat would not be the right word to describe an unruly little boy. While menace is also used to mean “annoying”, threat implies something more serious.

If you make a threat, it means you state that you are planning to cause somebody harm:

  • After publishing the article, the journalist received death threats.
  • John is prepared to carry out his threat to fire underachieving employees.

Recommended for you, Difference Between Property and Propriety

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