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scare

[skair] /skɛər/
verb (used with object), scared, scaring.
1.
to fill, especially suddenly, with fear or terror; frighten; alarm.
verb (used without object), scared, scaring.
2.
to become frightened:
That horse scares easily.
noun
3.
a sudden fright or alarm, especially with little or no reason.
4.
a time or condition of alarm or worry:
For three months there was a war scare.
Verb phrases
5.
scare up, Informal. to obtain with effort; find or gather:
to scare up money.
Origin of scare
late Middle English
1150-1200
1150-1200; (v.) Middle English skerren < Old Norse skirra to frighten, derivative of skjarr timid, shy; (noun) late Middle English skere, derivative of the v.
Related forms
scarer, noun
scaringly, adverb
unscared, adjective
Synonyms
1. startle, intimidate. See frighten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scared
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Your father's new house, Le, has scared him half out of his wits.

    The Coming Wave Oliver Optic
  • She could feel the shears against her hair, and she was so scared she swore like he told her.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • No, not scared,” responded Fogg soberly, “only worried about you.

  • When he got on my trail he knew that I was just a scared kid who thought he'd killed a man.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Said he scared the fellow until his black face turned white.

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
British Dictionary definitions for scared

scare

/skɛə/
verb
1.
to fill or be filled with fear or alarm
2.
(transitive; often foll by away or off) to drive (away) by frightening
3.
(transitive) (US & Canadian, informal) (foll by up)
  1. to produce (a meal) quickly from whatever is available
  2. to manage to find (something) quickly or with difficulty: brewers need to scare up more sales
noun
4.
a sudden attack of fear or alarm
5.
a period of general fear or alarm
adjective
6.
causing (needless) fear or alarm: a scare story
Derived Forms
scarer, noun
Word Origin
C12: from Old Norse skirra; related to Norwegian skjerra, Swedish dialect skjarra
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scared
adj.

past participle adjective from scare (v.). Scared stiff first recorded 1900; scared shitless is from 1936. Scaredy-cat "timid person" first attested 1906.

scare

v.

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.

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with scared
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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