put the fear of God in

put the fear of God in (one)

To cause one to greatly fear the potential consequences of something, such as misbehavior, typically by threats or a graphic description of such consequences. Our chemistry teacher has put the fear of God in us about fooling around near the chemicals and acids. Nearly getting hit by that car really put the fear of God in me—I'll never drive when I'm so tired ever again!
See also: fear, god, of, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put the fear of God in(to) someone

Fig. to frighten someone severely; [for something] to shock someone into contrite behavior. A near miss like that really puts the fear of God into you. Yes, it puts the fear of God in you.
See also: fear, god, of, put
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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