make hair stand on end
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
make (one's) hair stand on end
To scare or horrify someone. The screams coming from the old, dark house made my hair stand on end. When we go camping, every little noise outside my tent makes my hair stand on end. It could be a bear, after all!
make someone's hair stand on end
Fig. to cause someone to be very frightened. The horrible scream made my hair stand on end. The ghost story made our hair stand on end.
make one's hair stand on end, to
To terrify. The Book of Job (4:14–15) states, “Fear came upon me . . . and the hair of my flesh stood up.” The allusion here is to the goose pimples aroused by fear (or cold), the raised bumps on the skin that cause the hairs around them to stand up. Centuries later this gave rise to the adjective hair-raising, a synonym for terrifying.