scare (one) to death

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scare (one) to death

To shock or frighten one 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 me to death! Waking up to the sound of the howler monkeys nearly scared us to death. We had no idea what it was coming from.
See also: death, scare, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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Those fellows warn't likely to come again -- they hadn't any tools left to work with, and what was the use of waking you up and scaring you to death? My three negro men stood guard at your house all the rest of the night.