frighten (one) to death

(redirected from frightens them to death)

frighten (one) to death

To shock or frighten someone very suddenly and/or 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.
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 periodicals archive ?
A couple of friends say the idea of introducing their children to baking and preparing food frightens them to death.
And ex-con turned writer McVicar has accused UK Athletics of being too afraid to ban athletes because the ghost of the Diane Modahl case still frightens them to death.
The one result that frightens them to death is defeat.