- to make afraid or fearful; throw into a fright; terrify; scare.
- to drive (usually followed by away, off, etc.) by scaring: to frighten away pigeons from the roof.
- to become frightened: a timid child who frightens easily.
Origin of frighten
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for frightening
They say it's frightening how the real CIA is perceived to be as clueless as Archer Co.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS
January 8, 2015
In a frightening development for the GOP, Democrats had won even traditionally Republican constituencies in the Midwest.Thank Congress, Not LBJ for Great Society
Julian Zelizer, Scott Porch
January 4, 2015
After all, he was on television every week, telling macabre stories, frightening us.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.Quarantine Turns Ebola Heroes Into Pariahs
October 28, 2014
But the ambiguity of “appropriate disciplinary action” is what is so frightening about the smoking ban.The University Of New Orleans’ Cigarette Ban Is Total BS
October 21, 2014
I should make no scruple of frightening him within an inch of his life, for his good.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
But Turkey's suggestion about frightening her away kept working in my brain.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
You'll forgive me for frightening you, but it is best you should be forewarned.The Downfall
The bewilderment on the poor little face was frightening me.Things as They Are
I have no intention of frightening her; I shall give her every chance.The Silver Box (First Series Plays)
- to cause fear in; terrify; scare
- to drive or force to go (away, off, out, in, etc) by making afraid
Word Origin and History for frightening
Idioms and Phrases with frightening
see scare out of one's wits.