startle (one) out of (something)

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startle (one) out of (something)

To cause one to come abruptly out of some state or condition due to a mild shock or fright. The sound of the backdoor slamming shut startled me out of sleep. I hope the large decline in sales has startled the directors out of their complacency. I snuck up behind Tommy so I could startle him out of his daydream.
See also: of, out, startle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

startle someone out of something

to frighten someone very badly. (The something that may be lost may be expressed as wits, senses, ten years' growth, etc.) The explosion startled Polly out of her senses. I frightened myself out often years' growth.
See also: of, out, startle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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