Definition of scare in English:


Line breaks: scare
Pronunciation: /skɛː


[with object]


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  • 1A sudden attack of fright: gosh, that gave me a scare!
    More example sentences
    • Megan immediately halted and leaned on the pole tip for support, gulping in air after the sudden scare.
    • Ivory's head snapped up to look him straight in the eyes, her face now a pale sheet of white from the sudden scare.
    • Which reminds me to mention a word of caution when managing cows around calving time, there is nothing like a good scare to make one realise the dangers of attack.
  • 1.1 [usually with modifier] A situation characterized by a sudden and typically widespread sense of alarm or anxiety about something: the event was postponed earlier this year due to the foot-and-mouth scare recent food scares have made the public rightly sensitive to new, apparently untested technologies Aimee has been given the all-clear after a breast cancer scare
    More example sentences
    • Three years later, in 1957, America went through one of its biggest nuclear scares.
    • A year of financial crises, political scandal and swine flu scares have battered national confidence.
    • A major pollution scare was sparked off in York after dead fish were found floating in the River Foss.

Phrasal verbs

scare something up

informal , chiefly North American Manage to find or obtain something: for a price, the box office can usually scare up a pair of tickets
More example sentences
  • My guess is it might take time to scare something up though, since a lot of these ladies are the bubble bath and satin and roses and hot air balloon ride types - big dreamers with dashed hopes, I guess.
  • And each was a special customer, and he was determined to serve their needs and he would see if he couldn't scare something up.



More example sentences
  • When you have half a dozen or so, drill a hole close to the edge in each disk, thread them with tarred-twine and tie them to a bamboo cane - they make excellent bird scarers.
  • New moves will be made this weekend by divers armed with sonar scarers used on fish farms to return him to the wild.
  • I thought I disguised my disappointment pretty well as I invited him to kneel down and take a look but he had rather gone off the boil by then and seemed more interested in throwing snowballs at the cat scarer.


Middle English: from Old Norse skirra 'frighten', from skjarr 'timid'.

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