witless


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be scared witless

To be very severely frightened or worried. I was scared witless when I thought I heard footsteps on the staircase when no one else was home. We were scared witless when we woke up to the sound of the howler monkeys. We had no idea what it was coming from. I'm scared witless that the tests are going to come back positive.
See also: scare, witless

be bored witless

To be extremely bored. My flight's been delayed, and I'm bored witless after sitting around the airport all day.
See also: bore, witless

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

be scared/bored ˈwitless

(informal) be extremely frightened or bored: Despite his reputation as a tough guy, he admits that he was ‘scared witless’ when he first arrived in New York.
See also: bore, scare, witless
References in periodicals archive ?
The second was discovered at Witless Bay Point (47[degrees]14' N, 52[degrees]47' W) on the southeastern shore of the Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland on 15 April 2005 (Fig.
Yes, we have a major fiasco on our hands, what with Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Orrin Hatch, and the witless wonder Al D'Amato running the Senate.
Among his other plays are The Quick and the Dead Quick (produced 1961); Big Soft Nellie (produced 1961), whose witless hero creates chaos in a radio repair shop; Nil Carborundum (produced 1962), about life in the Royal Air Force; and Eh?
This made for good press, but it's a witless way to reduce deficits and this particular effort was unserious.
"It's a shame that, instead, pages are polluted with witless advertisements for stories that contribute nothing at all."
Essex is witless THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW (10.35pm BBC1) ONE of the big talking points of tonight's show is likely to be Graham's musical guest Sia.
If you've ever longed to see "The Dark Knight" reborn as a witless Taiwanese buddy-cop movie, then you may well be part of the desired audience for "Black & White: The Dawn of Justice." Although about a half-hour shorter than 2012's "Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault," this big, noisy, flashy, junky, altogether pitiful excuse for a blockbuster represents a much more bloated affair in terms of scale and expense, its frenetic mayhem and CGI explosions demonstrating only slightly more modulation than star Mark Chao's permanent humorless scowl.
In this depressing and often ear-splitting documentary it's as though there's a competition to see who can be the most dedicatedly witless One Direction devotee.
Urgh, if there's any truth in her theory that a name reflects a personality, there's a deed poll application going in for a change of moniker to Witless.
A SOLICITOR was "scared witless" when a man walked into her office and slammed a kitchen knife into the counter.
* Downton Abbey - sorry, but I was bored witless by it.
Cameron's gang of witless Thatcherite adolescents is quite prepared to allow bankers to give themselves billions of pounds of our money, while ensuring that decent people are hammered.
He described Palin as 'deranged', a 'witless bully' and a 'phony pioneer girl'.
Many old and vulnerable people are scared witless by these knocks on the door and with the load bangs of endless fireworks going off, it really is a nightmare time for them.
Television time taken up by witless and uninformative interviews could more profitably be used to promote horseracing by describing and explaining, over a period of time, various aspects of the industry, as described above.