Learn 20 Expressions Related to Fear

Fear is a powerful and universal emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. To express this feeling effectively, it’s helpful to know various idioms and phrasal verbs. Here are 20 expressions related to fear, each with a brief meaning and an example sentence.

1. Scared stiff

Meaning: Extremely frightened
Example: She was scared stiff by the horror movie.

2. Freak out

Meaning: Panic or go crazy
Example: He freaked out when he saw the spider.

3. Chicken out

Meaning: Back out due to fear
Example: He chickened out of the bungee jump.

4. Have cold feet

Meaning: Get nervous
Example: She got cold feet before the wedding.

5. Lose one’s nerve

Meaning: Become too afraid
Example: He lost his nerve and couldn’t speak.

6. Spooked

Meaning: Suddenly frightened
Example: The loud noise spooked the horse.

7. Scare the pants off

Meaning: Frighten severely
Example: That haunted house scared the pants off me.

8. Jump out of one’s skin

Meaning: Be very startled
Example: I almost jumped out of my skin when the phone rang.

9. Shake like a leaf

Meaning: Tremble from fear
Example: He was shaking like a leaf during the storm.

10. Make one’s blood run cold

Meaning: Terrify completely
Example: The ghost story made my blood run cold.

11. Spine-chilling

Meaning: Very frightening
Example: The thriller had a spine-chilling climax.

12. Hair-raising

Meaning: Very scary
Example: The ride was a hair-raising experience.

13. Petrified

Meaning: So scared, unable to move
Example: She was petrified during the earthquake.

14. Scare the daylights out of

Meaning: Shock greatly
Example: The sudden scream scared the daylights out of us.

15. Afraid of one’s own shadow

Meaning: Very easily scared
Example: He’s so nervous, he’s afraid of his own shadow.

16. Bloodcurdling

Meaning: Extremely terrifying
Example: The scream was bloodcurdling.

17. Scare the hell out of

Meaning: Terrify someone
Example: The prank scared the hell out of me.

18. Frozen with fear

Meaning: Unable to move due to fear
Example: She was frozen with fear during the robbery.

19. Scared witless

Meaning: Extremely frightened
Example: The loud bang scared him witless.

20. Shaken up

Meaning: Disturbed by fear
Example: He was really shaken up after the accident.

Expressions Related to Fear