Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “scare”

scare

verb [I or T] uk   /skeər/ us    /sker/
C1 to (make a person or animal) feel frightened: Sudden noises scare her. She's very brave - she doesn't scare easily. He scared me out of my wits (= made me extremely frightened) when he was driving so fast. Meeting new people scares me stiff/to death (= makes me extremely nervous and worried). She scared the hell/life/living daylights out of me (= frightened me very much) when she fell out of the tree.Frightening and scaring

scare

noun uk   /skeər/ us    /sker/
[S] a sudden feeling of fear or worry: I got/had a scare (= I was very worried) when I looked at my bank statement this morning! You gave us a real scare (= frightened us) when you fainted, you know.Fear and phobiasAnxiety and worry - general words [C] an occasion when a subject receives a lot of public attention and worries many people, often when there is no real danger: a bomb/health scare The government are accused of employing scare tactics (= ways of frightening people in order to persuade them to do something). The press have been publishing scare stories (= newspaper reports which make people feel unnecessarily worried) about the mystery virus.Fear and phobiasAnxiety and worry - general words
(Definition of scare from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of scare?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Fear & phobias, but you might be interested in these topics from the Psychology, psychiatry, & psychoanalysis topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “scare” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

microbrewery

a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More