When someone uses threats to compel someone else to do something, how do you describe it?

Specifically, what preposition should I use, should I use an article in the expression under the threat of death/eviction etc.? It sounds okay to me, I see nothing wrong with it, but Google News results don't seem reassuring.

  • side note: you can also use -threat to make compound nouns like death-threat.
    – Cardinal
    May 16, 2020 at 7:13
  • Are you interested in alternate ways of saying that, or do you just want to know about the preposition concerning the words "threat" or "death"?
    – AIQ
    May 16, 2020 at 10:47

1 Answer 1


The legal term is "extortion", or the related verb "extort"

If the threat is to reveal a secret, the term is blackmail.

The gangster extorted $1000 by threatening to set fire to the property.

Jim was blackmailed by an ex-employee, who threatened to reveal the company's history of tax evasion.

Both extortion and blackmail are crimes.

"Under the treat of death" is okay, but consider:

He fled the country under the treat of death.

He fled the country after receiving death-threats.

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