scare out of (someone or something)(redirected from scared them out of)
scare out of (someone or something)
1. To cause someone or some animal to leave some place or thing by frightening them or it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scare" and "out." I got a long stick to try to scare the raccoon out of the air duct. They began sending threatening anonymous letters in an effort to scare the man out of town.
2. To use fear or intimidation to cause or influence someone to avoid or stop doing something. A noun or pronoun is used between "scare" and "out." My mother keeps trying to scare me out of traveling to Europe with all these horror stories she heard through the grapevine. The mob is trying to scare him out of testifying in court.
3. To cause someone to divulge or part with something by threatening them, especially with physical violence. A noun or pronoun is used between "scare" and "out." If you think you're going to scare a confession out of me, you've got another think coming. The gangsters abducted the businessman with the intention of scaring the money out of him.
4. To give someone a very serious shock or fright. A noun or pronoun is used between "scare" and "out," typically some curse, vulgarity, or some word or phrase meaning "life" or "wits." Don't sneak up on me like that! You scared the hell out of me! Thank goodness that car swerved out of the way in time. That really scared the living daylights out of me!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
scare (someone or an animal) out of somethingand scare (someone or an animal) out
to frighten someone or an animal out of something or some place. The old man tried to scare the kids out of his orchard by shouting at them. Karen scared out the intruder.
scare someone out of something
to startle someone; to frighten someone into losing something, such as a year's worth of growth, ten years of life, etc. You nearly scared me out of my skin! The bad news scared Roger out of ten years' growth.
scare something out of someone
to frighten someone very badly. (The something can be the living daylights, the wits, the hell, the shit, etc. Use discretion with shit.) Gee, you scared the living daylights out of me! The police tried to scare the truth out of her. The door blew shut and scared the hell out of me.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.