verb (used with object)
- to make afraid or fearful; throw into a ; terrify; scare.
- to drive (usually followed by away, off, etc.) by scaring: to frighten away pigeons from the roof.
verb (used without object)
- to become a timid child who frightens easily.:
- a person or thing that causes fear
- put the frighteners on British informal to intimidate
- to cause fear in; terrify; scare
- to drive or force to go (away, off, out, in, etc) by making afraid
1660s, from Frightened; frightening. The earlier verb was simply fright (Old English fyrhtan) “to frighten.”+ (1). Related:
see scare out of one’s wits.