make hair stand on end


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make (one's) hair stand on end

1. To scare or horrify one. 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!
2. To give one goose bumps as a result of a strong emotional reaction. The speech she gave was incredible. It made everyone's hair stand on end! I won't lie, hearing my name on national television made my hair stand on end.
See also: end, hair, make, on, stand
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: end, hair, make, on, stand
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: hair, make, on, stand, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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