threaten-v; 2 Senses

Sense Number 1: utter intentions of injury or punishment

Commentary: Syntax is: NP1[human][agent] THREATEN (NP2)
NOTE: speech acts may be implied in this sense

They threatened us with legal action.
She threatened to tell my wife.
He threatened me with a knife.

VerbNet: NM
FrameNet: Commitment
PropBank: threaten.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 2: present danger, harm, or unwelcome consequences

Commentary: Syntax is: NP1[patient][animate] THREATEN (NP2) NP1[patient][inanimate] THREATEN (NP2)

Pollution is threatening the crops.
This injury could threaten his career.
The illness threatened to harm their ten-year-old daughter.
The dark clouds threaten rain.
Danger threatens!
The disease threatened her mother.
The perception of restraint threatened her sanity.
The dispute threatened to escalate into all-out war.

VerbNet: amuse-31.1
FrameNet: NM
PropBank: threaten.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1, 3