frighten to death
frighten (someone or an animal) to deathand scare someone or an animal to death
1. Lit. to frighten a living creature badly enough to cause death. The roar of the plane engine seems to have frightened the little dog to death.
2. Fig. to frighten someone severely. The dentist always frightens me to death. She scared me to death when she screamed.
frighten/scare somebody to death
to make someone feel very frightened David suddenly appeared in the doorway and scared me to death.