empty threat

empty threat

A threat that is devoid of worth or meaning, one that cannot or was never intended to be carried out. The manager is always full of empty threats about docking our pay, but he'll never actually go through with it.
See also: empty, threat
References in classic literature ?
Michael Vanstone's son has only to persist in following his father's course to find, before long, that I am not mistaken in my pupil, and that I have not come here to intimidate him by empty threats.
Later she admitted that before the killing she had sent a text saying that she was going to kill her father but that it was just an empty threat.
Of course, it could just be an empty threat but you can't take the risk.
It did not say which players had been targeted and could quite easily be an empty threat.
Cooke said: 'I think it is an empty threat because if the Premiership clubs breakaway where would they go?
When Mrs Ellman repeats the cry of Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map, she must know that this is an empty threat.
I'm really the only family he has, so I know it's not an empty threat.
What has happened since makes me convinced that his was not an empty threat.
Instead, we have had empty threat after empty threat from Robin Cook.
It was no empty threat yesterday when Unison leader Dave Prentis declared workers will not go silently to the slaughter, warning of demonstrations and strikes.
And it's no empty threat because former Hamilton Accies midfielder Darren Henderson yesterday became the first squad victim.
FERRARI announcing they intend to quit Formula One next season is an empty threat.
This is an empty threat - only governments can pass laws, and no government will allow police to take industrial action.
Uefa spokesman William Gaillard said yesterday: "It is by no means an empty threat.