be frightened to death

be frightened to death

To be very severely scared or worried. (Hyperbolically alludes to having been frightened so badly as to have died from it.) I was frightened to death when I thought I heard footsteps on the staircase when no one else was home. We were frightened to death when we woke up to the sound of the howler monkeys. We had no idea what it was coming from. I'm frightened to death that the tests are going to come back positive.
See also: death, frighten

be frightened to death

be made very alarmed and fearful. informal
See also: death, frighten
References in periodicals archive ?
will be She added: "I don't think all the parents know yet - they will be frightened to death by it.
It is indeed possible to be frightened to death, researchers said Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.
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