- to fill, especially suddenly, with fear or terror; frighten; alarm.
- to become frightened: That horse scares easily.
- a sudden fright or alarm, especially with little or no reason.
- a time or condition of alarm or worry: For three months there was a war scare.
- scare up, Informal. to obtain with effort; find or gather: to scare up money.
Origin of scare
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scared
Once I got over that hurdle, it was as if a huge weight had lifted and I was not scared anymore.Inside A Finishing School for Transwomen
December 27, 2014
He recalled for Koenig how scared Jay was the night he was picked up by cops—though not of the police, but of Adnan.Adnan Killed Her! No, Jay Did It! Serial’s Uncertain, True-to-Reality End
December 18, 2014
About our Eric Garners—too fat, too scared, too noncompliant, too many kids—there are always, as Flagg knows well, excuses.McConaughey’s ‘Stand’—And Ours
December 5, 2014
And white America is scared of what is going to happen when the announcement is made.Ferguson Tensions in Black and White
November 21, 2014
He says attacks against women have risen, and the migrants and refugees have made people too scared to leave their homes at night.In Rome’s Riots, Cries for Mussolini and Attacks on Refugees
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 14, 2014
She could feel the shears against her hair, and she was so scared she swore like he told her.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
And that minute he turned me from a scared kid into an outlaw—a killer.
When he got on my trail he knew that I was just a scared kid who thought he'd killed a man.
A scared, round face peered out at Andrew from behind his mother.
I've been scared about Dirk ever since; and now he won't go to Poke's!Ester Ried Yet Speaking
- to fill or be filled with fear or alarm
- (tr; often foll by away or off) to drive (away) by frightening
- (tr) US and Canadian informal (foll by up)
- to produce (a meal) quickly from whatever is available
- to manage to find (something) quickly or with difficultybrewers need to scare up more sales
- a sudden attack of fear or alarm
- a period of general fear or alarm
- causing (needless) fear or alarma scare story
Word Origin and History for scared
past participle adjective from scare (v.). Scared stiff first recorded 1900; scared shitless is from 1936. Scaredy-cat "timid person" first attested 1906.
1590s, alteration of Middle English skerren (c.1200), from Old Norse skirra "to frighten; to shrink from, shun; to prevent, avert," related to skjarr "timid, shy, afraid of," of unknown origin. In Scottish also skair, skar, and in dialectal English skeer, skear, which seems to preserve the older pronunciation. To scare up "procure, obtain" is first recorded 1846, American English, from notion of rousing game from cover. Related: Scared; scaring.
"something that frightens; sudden panic, sudden terror inspired by a trifling cause, false alarm," 1520s, alteration of Middle English sker "fear, dread" (c.1400), from scare (v.). Scare tactic attested from 1948.