startle (one) out of (something)(redirected from startling them out of)
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.
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.