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be scared witless

To be very severely frightened or worried. I was scared witless when I thought I heard footsteps on the staircase when no one else was home. We were scared witless when we woke up to the sound of the howler monkeys. We had no idea what it was coming from. I'm scared witless that the tests are going to come back positive.
See also: scare, witless

be bored witless

To be extremely bored. My flight's been delayed, and I'm bored witless after sitting around the airport all day.
See also: bore, witless

scare (one) witless

To shock or frighten someone very suddenly and/or severely. (Hyperbolically alludes to frightening someone so severely as to cause them to lose their mind.) Don't sneak up on me like that, you scared me out of my wits! That car accident seems to have scared Janet out of her wits—she's still shaken by it.
See also: scare, witless

scare someone witless

If something or someone scares you witless, they make you very frightened or worried. I saw that film when I was in Paris and it scared me witless. You read about all these things that can cause cancer and it scares you witless.
See also: scare, someone, witless

be scared/bored ˈwitless

(informal) be extremely frightened or bored: Despite his reputation as a tough guy, he admits that he was ‘scared witless’ when he first arrived in New York.
See also: bore, scare, witless
References in periodicals archive ?
The second was discovered at Witless Bay Point (47[degrees]14' N, 52[degrees]47' W) on the southeastern shore of the Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland on 15 April 2005 (Fig.
Along with a nondescript Tory, a witless Labour MP and baroness, they fell into a trap so obvious that you honestly have to wonder how they find their own way home at night.
The really worrying aspect was the witless response of the players, and the total lack of either guile or fight displayed by the majority of the team - Burke and Johnno apart.
Before a live Sunday studio audience primed to shriek and clap at every turn, witless Vernon cried: "I see a lot of smiling faces .
With hindsight, I realise I'd become something of an expert on pregnancy, scared myself witless
I was scared witless - Gillian Gibbons following her return home
I guess this reflects the reality TV culture of derision that today's kids have grown up with, but this movie makes it seem both witless and gratuitously cruel -- although I've gotta say, the bra-cam idea might really have been worth something in an actually funny comedy.
TONY ROBINSON was 73rd choice to play Blackadder's witless sidekick Baldrick - but he made him one of the most loved characters in British comedy.
These are wacky, witless folks, but when Mom--yet again--comes around the corner to find lost sheep Macauley Culkin on Christmas morn, there's not a dry eye in the house.
A class of Teesside children have been scared witless by going back to school .
Onstage without a stitch in Broadway's Take Me Out, he left audiences positively witless.
No doubt someone of a nervous disposition who took a job on a fairground ghost train will shortly sue for being scared witless.
If the show's pleasure used to lie in watching the faces of the witless participants as an expert revealed their treasures to be worthless fakes, this year the appraisals seem far more generous - and what's more fun than looking on as costume jewelry is baldly declared a diamond-and-ruby encrusted fortune, or the tin helmet some woman found in her attic is identified as ancient Roman armor and valued at a quarter of a million dollars?
These stories are so superior to the witless polemics that occupy the rest of the book that they create a certain amount of mystery as to how they could have been written by the same authors.