frighten to death

frighten (someone or an animal) to death

 and 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.
See also: death, frighten

frighten/scare somebody to death

to make someone feel very frightened David suddenly appeared in the doorway and scared me to death.
See also: death, frighten
References in periodicals archive ?
The spirit of a murdered teenager was on hand to frighten to death anyone who watched a cursed video cassette in this terrifying Japanese chiller.
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