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.
Robert overhears, and Lachlan claims it was an empty threat, but later we see him firing a shotgun at a pumpkin with Robert's face on it.
An empty threat with little consequence, Khawaja Asif would be better suited turning his attention towards countering the US-India threat while cementing relations with China and Russia.
It was an empty threat so that Carly and others are stuck in the room.
But, the new sanctions will not be applied immediately and some believe the EU is making an empty threat.
Karzai has called that an empty threat and suggested that any security deal could wait until after his country's April elections.
Karzai has called that an empty threat and suggested any security deal could wait until after the April elections.
On Thursday, Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told RIA Novosti and Rossiya 24 TV channel that "Ukraine may stop buying gas altogether at that price," warning Russia that "that is not an empty threat.
DAC Beachcroft are still to even make the field in the tournament this year with captain Jake Stacy making an empty threat to resign in protest at the weather.
But her battle with the Lebanese media has been her longest and most fierce and although Ahlam is partial to making an empty threat or two against the press, it looks like she is about to take things further than ever before.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson has insisted the warning on legislation is no empty threat.
With the wide-eyed innocence of a capricious daydreamer, the Canadian songbird chips away at her acoustic guitar like a woodpecker peeling away a tree's bark, as she tenderly croons, "I'm moving to America/I'm moving to America/It's an empty threat.
The Examiner report headed 'pavement parkers beware' (January 26) may mark an empty threat.
However Ethiopia's ministry of mines and energy down plays the threats saying that every empty threat by the Ogaden rebels cannot obstruct the ongoing oil venture.
THE Government's decision to close schools which fail to achieve 30% of GCSEs above grade C (including English and mathematics) looks like little more than another empty threat.