Definition of commination in US English:



  • 1The action of threatening divine vengeance.

    • ‘It was his job to save them and not to shake his head and thunder comminations.’
    • ‘It is therefore a very necessary and important point, to inquire whether there be really any such thing, as a sanction of natural laws, that is, whether they are accompanied with comminations and promises, punishments and rewards.’
    • ‘An agreement between God and Man, about the way of obtaining consummate happiness, including a commination of eternal destruction, with which the contemner of the happiness, offered in that way, is to be punished.’
    • ‘And he shows that all those comminations and threats which we read in the Scriptures of the New Testament in no way belong to the nature of the Gospel properly so called, but are the confirmation of the law.’
    • ‘The text begins with the morning prayer and ends with a commination.’
    threatening remark, warning, ultimatum, intimidating remark
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    1. 1.1 The recital of divine threats against sinners in the Anglican Liturgy for Ash Wednesday.
      • ‘And the terror of the covenant of works is increased by repeated comminations; and that voice heard, ‘cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them,’ Deut. xxvii. 26.’


Late Middle English: from Latin comminatio(n-), from the verb comminari, from com- (expressing intensive force) + minari ‘threaten’.