- 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 scaring
At first, she thought he was just joking around, but soon, Mulvehill was scaring her, according to the report.School Shooters Love This Pickup Artist Website
December 5, 2014
Scaring voters, whether about ISIS or Ebola, is good for the GOP.Ebola Scare-Mongerer Rand Paul Wants You to Think You’re Going to Die
October 12, 2014
Both insisted Goldwater was scaring away the swing voters Republicans needed with his unyielding conservatism.Barry Goldwater, Father of the Tea Party
July 16, 2014
We were all born to tell the stories of our lives; the problem lies in scaring up an audience.Comedy Is His Calling: The Brilliance of Billy Crystal
April 18, 2014
Talk show host extraordinaire Ellen DeGeneres is known for her love of scaring her guests and staff.Ellen’s Haunted House, Panda Cubs, and More Viral Videos
Julian E. Wright
November 3, 2013
I was throwing a rock in the brush-pile in the chance of scaring out a rabbit.The Million-Dollar Suitcase
Just think of his bungling off that old musket and scaring the lot!Hunting the Skipper
George Manville Fenn
In that way they very often succeed in scaring our game away altogether.The Slave of Silence
Fred M. White
"The boys are scaring them out of the wheat-field," said grandfather.When Life Was Young
C. A. Stephens
"We were scaring away the foxes," said one of the donkeys, meekly.The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
- 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 scaring
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.