scare (one) witless

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scare (one) witless

To shock or frighten someone very suddenly and/or severely. (Hyperbolically alludes to frightening someone so severely as to cause them to lose their mind.) Don't sneak up on me like that, you scared me out of my wits! That car accident seems to have scared Janet out of her wits—she's still shaken by it.
See also: scare, witless

scare someone witless

INFORMAL
If something or someone scares you witless, they make you very frightened or worried. I saw that film when I was in Paris and it scared me witless. You read about all these things that can cause cancer and it scares you witless.
See also: scare, someone, witless
References in periodicals archive ?
A source close to the Sampson family said: "This has just scared us witless.
Odie and I just rode Boulder Dash and it scared us witless so we're just gonna hang out here the rest of the summer and see if we can get our wits back," stated the cartoon cat, adding, "Although, with Odie, it's already a lost cause.