American English

Definition of scare verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they scare
    he / she / it scares
    past simple scared
    -ing form scaring
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  1. 1[transitive] to frighten someone scare somebody You scared me. it scares somebody to do something It scared me to think I was alone in the building.
  2. 2[intransitive] to become frightened He doesn't scare easily. see also scary
  3. Thesaurusscarefrighten alarm terrifyThese words all mean to make someone afraid.scare to make someone feel afraid:They managed to scare away the bears.frighten to make someone feel afraid, often suddenly:She brought out a gun and frightened them off.scare or frighten?Frighten is slightly more formal than scare.alarm to make someone anxious or afraid:I am alarmed at how quickly this decision was made. Alarm is used when someone has a feeling that something unpleasant or dangerous might happen in the future; the feeling is often more one of worry than actual fear.terrify to make someone feel extremely afraid:Flying terrified her.Patterns to scare/frighten somebody/something away/off to scare/frighten/terrify somebody into doing something It scares/frightens/alarms/terrifies me >that…> It scares/frightens/alarms/terrifies me >to>think, see, etc.Idioms
    scare/frighten the (living) daylights out of somebody (informal)
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    to scare someone very much
    scare/frighten the life out of somebody
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    to frighten someone very much You scared the life out of me coming in so suddenly like that.
    scare/frighten somebody to death
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    to frighten someone very much Spiders scare him to death.
    Phrasal Verbsscare somebodyaway/offscare somebody into doing somethingscare somebodyoffscare up something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: scare