witless

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Related to witlessness: lawlessness

be bored witless

To be extremely bored. I could tell everyone in the audience was bored witless by the end of the lecture.
See also: bore, witless

be scared witless

To be very severely frightened or worried. I was scared witless when I heard footsteps on the staircase in the middle of the night. I'm scared witless that the tests are going to come back positive for leukemia.
See also: scare, witless

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

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 ?
In Chapter 2, Zucker argues that Jonson's Epicoene displays "a steady interest in mannered behavior makes it unlike any London-set play that had come before it" (58] and this interest in mannered behavior extends to Bartholomew Fair which greatly expands the scope of that behavior and of what counts as "manners." Zucker argues that Epicoene shows wit (and witlessness) to be intricately bound to specific details of London life, not some kind of natural quality that stands outside of the material world.
Jordan observed, the assertion of African irrationality and witlessness was made by way of direct or implied appeals to a pseudoscientific "Chain of Being" in which Africans were represented as being less than human, that is, one step up from apes in a supposed ascent toward the white man.
Before you know it your words of witlessness are paraded mercilessly on some broadsheet diary page and ridiculed by the Groucho Club's entire membership.
The responsibility of criticism is to begin speaking on the other side of a certain witlessness we may enjoy if we allow ourselves to be blinded by the radiance of art's bodies.
This witlessness of the courts and of the intellectuals has been marked in the public discourse by shifts in our language.
In fact, they are a contribution to witlessness and a barrier to what brings us together."
Herodotus' comment that he was fated to die is an indication of his witlessness. Gyges has a very passive and fearful psychology and "cries out" at the very idea of Candaules' dreadful plan in an almost feminine alarm, whereas Candaules' wife does not cry out even when the idea is realised, but turns her mind to revenge - showing her greater control.
We are reacting against the humorless, witlessness of modern liberal life."
And if the nation's cultural landscape eventually looks like the most ravaged sections of western Pennsylvania once did, and the number of people who can distinguish wit from witlessness and sexual allure from full-frontal exposure is reduced to a corporal's guard, well, that's the cost of doing business.
Sereno's decision to defend herself exposed her lack of court experience as well as her utter witlessness and childish antics (interrupting the SC justices several times and then throwing accusations at them when she is the one being charged).
Although BBC2's jaw-droppingly dreadful sketch show The Ginge, The Geordie and The Geek takes witlessness to a whole new level.
For all of the witlessness which has been served up by the Black Cats this season, their travelling support remains a reassuring constant.
The pathetic is achieved when the protagonist is, by virtue of his witlessness, his insensitivity, or the very air he gives off, incapable of grappling with a much superior force.
Yet this woeful piece of web witlessness has had 1,464 hits - and counting.
I'm afraid that Jo and her fellow contestants sum up all that is wrong and shallow in the business world - the fragile, over-inflated egos' the ugly greed and, worst of all, the sheer witlessness of those involved.