scary (comparative scarier, superlative scariest)
- (now chiefly, informal) Causing or able to cause fright.
- Synonyms: frightening, hair-raising, petrifying, terrifying
- The tiger's jaws were scary.
- She was hiding behind her pillow during the scary parts of the film.
- 1884, Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapter 29,
- 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, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, New York: Ivy Books, 1992, Chapter 2, p. 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.
- Synonyms: nervous, jumpy
- 1823, James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers (novel), New York: Charles Wiley, Volume 2, Chapter 5, p. 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. […] ” [the UK edition of the same year has scary (p. 262)]
- 1867, John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Wreck of Rivermouth” in The Tent on the Beach, and Other Poems, Boston: Ticknor and Fields, p. 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, Texas Department of Agriculture, Bulletin (issues 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 (author), Native Son, London: Jonathan Cape, 1970, Book 1, p. 10,
- The two brothers stood over the dead rat […] .
- “Please, Bigger, take ’im out,” Vera begged.
- “Aw, don’t be so scary,” Buddy said.
- French: sinistre, terrifiant, affreux
- German: schrecklich, furchterregend, beängstigend
- Italian: pauroso
- Portuguese: assustador
- Russian: стра́шный
- Spanish: alarmante, feo
- Barren land having only a thin coat of grass.