- scarey (dated)
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: skâr'ē IPA(key): /ˈskɛəɹi/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈskɛəɹi/, /ˈskɛɹi/
- Rhymes: -ɛəɹi
scary (comparative scarier, superlative scariest)
- (now chiefly informal) Causing fear or anxiety
- Synonyms: frightening, hair-raising, petrifying, terrifying; see also Thesaurus:frightening
- The tiger's jaws were scary.
- She was hiding behind her pillow during the scary parts of the film.
- 1884 December 10, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter 29, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) […], London: Chatto & Windus, […], →OCLC:
- Well, we swarmed along down the river road, just carrying on like wildcats; and to make it more scary the sky was darking up, and the lightning beginning to wink and flitter, and the wind to shiver amongst the leaves.
- 1982, Anne Tyler, chapter 2, in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, New York: Ivy Books, published 1992, page 70:
- “ […] How scary it is to know that everyone I love depends on me! I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong.”
- (informal) Uncannily striking or surprising.
- Linda changed her hair, and it’s scary how much she looks like her mother.
- (US, colloquial) Subject to sudden alarm; easily frightened.
- 1823, James Fenimore Cooper, chapter 5, in The Pioneers, volume 2, New York: Charles Wiley, the UK edition of the same year has scary (p. 262)], page 77:
- “Whist! whist!” said Natty, in a low voice, on hearing a slight sound made by Elizabeth, in bending over the side of the canoe, in eager curiosity; “’tis a sceary animal, and it’s a far stroke for a spear. […] ”
- 1867, John Greenleaf Whittier, The Tent on the Beach, and Other Poems, Boston: Ticknor and Fields, The Wreck of Rivermouth, page 25:
- “She’s cursed,” said the skipper; “speak her fair:
I’m scary always to see her shake
Her wicked head, with its wild gray hair,
And nose like a hawk, and eyes like a snake.”
- 1916, “Bulletin”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), number 47-57, page 150:
- And let us say to these interests that, until the Buy-It-Made-In-Texas movement co-operates with the farmers, we are going to be a little scary of the snare.
- 1940, Richard Wright, Native Son, London: Jonathan Cape, published 1970, page 10:
- The two brothers stood over the dead rat […] .
“Please, Bigger, take ’im out,” Vera begged.
“Aw, don’t be so scary,” Buddy said.
scary (not comparable)
- (informal) To a scary extent; scarily.
- 2010, Peter Corris, Torn Apart, Allen and Unwin, page 117:
- At 199 centimetres and a hundred kilos going up, he was scary big and he found work as a bouncer and enforcer[.]
- 2020, S. Clarence Dodge, Beyond Blood: Inside the Mind of an Anesthesiologist, Xlibris Corporation:
- [T]he main reason I don't want to give her a GA is she's so scary fat!
causing fear or anxiety
From dialectal English scare (“scraggy”).
- Barren land having only a thin coat of grass.