- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /skɛə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /skɛɚ/
- (dialectal) IPA(key): /skɪə(ɹ)/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)
From Middle English sker, skere (“terror, fright”), from the verb Middle English skerren (“to frighten”) (see below).
scare (plural scares)
- A minor fright.
- Johnny had a bad scare last night.
- 2011 June 4, Phil McNulty, “England 2 - 2 Switzerland”, in BBC:
- England were held to a draw after surviving a major scare against Switzerland as they were forced to come from two goals behind to earn a point in the Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley.
- A cause of slight terror; something that inspires fear or dread.
- a food-poisoning scare
- A device or object used to frighten.
- 1948, Alec H. Chisholm, Bird Wonders of Australia, page 153:
- But I admit the possibility of their being used as "scares" for either birds of prey or snakes, or both.
From Middle English scaren, skaren, scarren, skeren, skerren, from Old Norse skirra (“to frighten; to shrink away from, shun; to prevent, avert”), from Proto-Germanic *skirzijaną (“to shoo, scare off”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to swing, jump, move”). Related to Old Norse skjarr (“timid, shy, afraid of”). Cognate with Scots skar (“wild, timid, shy”), dialectal Norwegian Nynorsk skjerra, dialectal Swedish skjarra and possibly Old Armenian ցիռ (cʿiṙ, “wild ass”).
scare (third-person singular simple present scares, present participle scaring, simple past and past participle scared)
- To frighten, terrify, startle, especially in a minor way.
- Did it scare you when I said "Boo!"?
- c. 1591–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i], lines 6-7:
- That cannot be; the noise of thy crossbow / Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.
- 1995, The Langoliers:
- (Laurel Stevenson) Would you please be quiet? You're scaring the little girl.
(Craig Toomey) Scaring the little girl?! Scaring the little girl?! Lady!
- See also Thesaurus:frighten
scare (comparative more scare, superlative most scare)
- ^ Stanley, Oma (1937), “I. Vowel Sounds in Stressed Syllables”, in The Speech of East Texas (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 2), New York: Columbia University Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 6, page 16.
From Latin scarus (also genus name Scarus), from Ancient Greek σκάρος (skáros).
scare m (plural scares)
- “scare”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.