- 1Cause great fear or nervousness in; frighten: the rapid questions were designed to scare her into blurting out the truthMore example sentences
frighten, startle, alarm, terrify, petrify, intimidate, terrorize, make afraid, make fearful, fill with fear, give someone a fright, panic, throw into a panic, shock, unnerve, cow; strike terror into, put the fear of God into, chill to the bone/marrow, make someone's blood run cold, scare/frighten to death, scare/frighten someone out of their wits, send into a cold sweat, scare/frighten the living daylights out of, scare/frighten the life out of, scare the hell out of, scare stiff, scare witless, make someone shake in their boots/shoes• informal scare the pants off, make someone's hair stand on end, make someone jump out of their skin, make someone's hair curl, spook, scarify, scare the bejesus out of, scare the bejabbers out of, give someone the heebie-jeebies• vulgar slang scare shitless, scare the shit out of
- A brave businesswoman who is scared stiff of sharks is set to take the charity plunge into a tank full of the fearsome fish.
- Some are scared stiff of losing their work, others are pressured by family members not to complain.
- But the upper class is scared stiff of his rise, and plots to foil his attempts through fraud.
- 1.1Drive or keep (someone) away by frightening them: the threat of bad weather scared away the crowdsMore example sentences
- I'd wanted it to scare him off, send him fleeing back to wherever he'd come from.
- I think their behaviour has been scaring people away from the lagoon.
- Party sources believe the campaign is aimed at scaring people away from transferring votes to the party and harming their chances of success just weeks before the election.
- 1.2 [no object] Become scared: I don’t think I scare easilyMore example sentences
- But these are committed professionals who don't scare easily.
- At 74, Browning has lived through more presidential campaigns than she cares to remember and she claims not to scare easily.
- Mr Mooring, who served with the Eighth Army and saw action at El-Alamein, does not scare easily.
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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 sudden alarm or anxiety about something: recent food scares have made the public rightly sensitive to new, apparently untested technologies she has been given the all-clear after a breast cancer scareMore 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.
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 ticketsMore 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.
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- 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'.