Definition of comminatory in US English:



  • Threatening, punitive, or vengeful.

    • ‘The strong and comminatory attacks on his adversaries, of whom he even singles out some, are a marked feature of this period of his career.’
    • ‘During the session of 1434, he was commissioned by Archbishop Chichele to draw up, along with others, certain comminatory articles to be proclaimed by the clergy in their parishes four times a year.’
    • ‘So the instruments were tuned and the comminatory verses sung.’
    • ‘A fortnight ago, a short comminatory note, was drawn up in three versions.’
    • ‘But presently he began to suspect that the portrait was not as comminatory as he could have wished.’
    menacing, intimidating, bullying, frightening, terrifying, scary, fearsome, mean-looking, alarming, forbidding, baleful
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Early 16th century: from medieval Latin comminatorius, from comminat- ‘threatened’, from the verb comminari (see commination).