frighten into

frighten (one) into (something)

1. To scare or intimidate one into doing something. The clap of thunder frightened Katie into jumping out of her chair. The relentless snow and slippery roads frightened me into pulling over.
2. To scare or intimidate one into entering some place or thing. I had to frighten the dog back into the house—we were already running late, and she wasn't listening to any of my commands. Frighten the children into the school if you have to—just get them indoors before this storm hits.
3. To scare one into a particular emotional state. Don't let Betsy watch a horror movie—they always frighten her into a whimpering mess.
See also: frighten
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

frighten someone (or an animal) into something

 and frighten someone or an animal in 
1. to scare someone or an animal into entering something or some place. The trouble in the neighborhood frightened most of the residents into their houses. The mouse was out of its hole, but we came in and frightened the little mouse back in.
2. to scare someone or an animal into a particular state. They frightened me into a quivering mass. The mouse was frightened into a state of confusion.
See also: frighten
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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