scared to death

F - S

scared to death,
also, frightened to death


  • to be extremely afraid or frightened.
  • It alludes to being so scared of something that you can die from it.
  • being made very alarmed or fearful of a situation.

Examples in a Sentence

  1. A shadow appeared in the doorway and scared me to death.
  2. I was scared to death when I thought I heard footsteps in the house when no one was around.
  3. My sister is scared to death that her colleagues will not like her, but I know they will.
  4. I was frightened to death when I heard the doctor call for surgery, but fortunately, the prognosis was excellent.
  5. My aunt was scared to death watching my niece compete in gymnastics. They thought she was going to break her legs.
  6. Traveling is fantastic. But aren’t you frightened to death by the turbulence of the plane when it’s taking off?


Scared to death is more than an expression proven true on December 27, 2001. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, proved that, indeed, people could be scared to death. So besides being fiction, it can be fact as well.

It originates from the Sherlock Holmes story about The Hound of the Baskervilles, written by Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story, Sir Charles Baskervilles dies from a heart attack caused by too much psychological stress.

Scared to death is an emotional reaction that can be positive or negative. When it happens, it causes a surge of autonomic activity, meaning the brain releases chemicals called adrenaline, which can be good but can also cause harm.


  • scared stiff
  • panic-stricken

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