HERE IS A THING, DEAL WITH IT and the player saying NO. I IGNORE YOUR THING.
So then you need to Defy Danger. It's like, you're in the middle of a situation where something is ABSOLUTELY DEMANDING YOUR ATTENTION and if right now, you don't tell me "I deal with that thing." then you are defying danger and you need to explain how.
- emphasis mine.
I think Adam has touched on something here that the examples provided have only touched on. Sage's idea of waving the chain at the ogre gets at where I'm going though.
The conversation of roleplaying DW is filled with questioning, by the GM and the PC's. This questioning provides answers which in turn establish the fiction. If the answers are nebulous or not readily apparent, a move more than likely activates in the narrative 'space', to determine where the story goes.
I think its important to extrapolate the colourful richness of the scene before diving in to a move. Players naturally do this, as it adds imagery to their narration, and sometimes comes up with something rather un-expected (like the chain with the ogre), its this lovely back and forth of detail
between the players and GM.
So its more than a room with a cage and a few orcs and a released ogre. That gives you only a few hooks to hang your fictional hat on.
You can focus on the physical space: Is the room a natural cavern? Man/dwarf/orc made? How is the cage constructed? What are the monsters wearing? How is the place lit?
You can dig down to the whys and wherefores: What do the monsters do here in this cave? Where does it lead to, who else in allowed through here?
Or you can focus on the thoughts and feelings: Why is the ogre dimwitted? Is that smaller orc the same one you allowed to escape earlier? The orc gesticulating with his claw has the dead cleric's mace slung through his rawhumanhide belt, how does that make you feel?
My rather longwinded point is that we naturally ask a lot more questions (many of which are discarded) during actual play than examples tend to show. The principle of ask questions and use the answers
is so important here when a move's use or implementation is unclear. These questions are vital in determining the fiction and thus clarity of the resultant moves that arise and the consequences of the roll to the story.
So defy danger needs an imminent threat. If its not apparent, question a little more until it is or simply keep roleplaying and asking lots of questions until another move (player or GM) presents itself.