scare the life out of (someone)

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scare the life out of (someone)

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 scared the life out of me! That car accident seems to have scared the life out of Janet—she's still shaken by it.
See also: life, of, out, scare
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