scare (one) witless

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scare (one) witless

To shock or frighten one very severely. (Hyperbolically alludes to scaring one so badly that they lose their sanity.) 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
IF you're making a scary movie and seeking natural performances from a young cast - some of them new to acting - then scaring them witless before the cameras start rolling is probably a good start.
NOT content with terrorising footballers offscreen, Jordan will be scaring them witless on screen now, too.
Yet the health bureaucrats wanted to rob everyone of their opportunity to see the rare event by scaring them witless about the consequences.