frighten (one) to death

(redirected from frighten him to death)

frighten (one) to death

To shock or frighten one very suddenly and severely. Hyperbolically alludes to frightening someone so badly as to cause them to die. Don't sneak up on me like that, you frightened me to death! That car accident seems to have frightened Janet to death—she's still shaken by it. Waking up to the sound of the howler monkeys nearly frightened us to death. We had no idea what we were hearing.
See also: death, frighten

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
References in classic literature ?
Bentley he didn't mind him, but he's going to find it hard to get acquainted with a new minister, and a new minister's wife will frighten him to death."
"I saw the man in the dock and I went after him to frighten him to death, I hope.
"I saw the man in the dock and I just went after him - to frighten him to death, I hope.
But Taylor has at least faced one of Beckham's specials before - even if it did frighten him to death.
"I saw the man in the dock and I just went after him to frighten him to death I hope.