frighten the life out of (one)

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frighten the life out of (one)

To shock or frighten one 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

frighten the life out of someone

or

scare the life out of someone

INFORMAL
If someone or something frightens the life out of you or scares the life out of you, they frighten you very much. It used to frighten the life out of me when they tried to jump on the moving trains. Further tests revealed that I needed major heart surgery. It scared the life out of me.
See also: frighten, life, of, out, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

frighten the life out of

terrify.
See also: frighten, life, of, out
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

frighten/scare the ˈlife out of somebody

frighten somebody very much: Don’t do that! You scared the life out of me creeping up on me like that!
See also: frighten, life, of, out, scare, somebody
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Tulkinghorn with a view to a wrangle, and likewise persecuting and half frightening the life out of an unfortunate stationer."
Elliot also feels Newcastle's home crowd are capable of frightening the life out of Bournemouth.
Freddie's mum, Casey, told the ECHO: "Since his picture was first published, Freddie has entered every year, dressing up in all kinds of scary monster costumes and frightening the life out of me!
She said Hinton, who had been "frightening the life out of people", had learned "absolutely nothing" from his previous jail sentences.
These are the things doctors don't mention, presumably for fear of frightening the life out of an already ailing patient and the pharmaceutical companies put the warnings in such fine print that even my super-dooper new glasses can barely pick out.
Hilditch admitted forcing his way into his victim's flat and "frightening the life out of him" as he quizzed Mr Middleton about his stolen bike.
This greyhound performed well above expectations when frightening the life out of those who had lumped-on Hawaii Fiveo One on Saturday.
I look forward to Martins frightening the life out of Mellberg.
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