frighten the life out of someone

(redirected from frightening the life out of them)

frighten the life out of someone

To shock or frighten someone very suddenly and/or severely. (Hyperbolically alludes to frightening someone so severely as to cause them to die.) Don't sneak up on me like that, you frightened the life out of me! That car accident seems to have frightened the life out of Janet—she's still shaken by it.
See also: frighten, life, of, out