\ ˈsker-ē How to pronounce scary (audio) \
scarier; scariest

Definition of scary

1 : causing fright : alarming a scary story
2 : easily scared : timid
3 : feeling alarm or fright : frightened

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Other Words from scary

scarily \ ˈsker-​ə-​lē How to pronounce scary (audio) \ adverb

Examples of scary in a Sentence

a scary movie that gave the child nightmares for weeks afterwards a scary horse who spooked and kicked at its own shadow
Recent Examples on the Web Coming out is still really, really, really scary for many LGBTQ kids. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Why JoJo Siwa's coming out is such a massively big deal," 30 Jan. 2021 Comedies are great in cinemas, scary movies are great in cinemas. New York Times, "George Clooney on ‘The Midnight Sky’ and Donald Trump," 23 Dec. 2020 For example, send care packages instead of gifts, or watch scary movies in lieu of holiday films. Jenny Mccoy, Glamour, "How to Prevent Holiday Depression This Year," 25 Nov. 2020 Good, because the cast of one of the most iconic scary movies is staging a virtual reunion this weekend. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "The ‘Scream’ cast is staging a virtual reunion, and we’re screaming," 14 Nov. 2020 Halloween is over but the scary movies keep coming., "Express Briefing: Bexar County breaks turnout records despite low Election Day numbers," 4 Nov. 2020 But human beings also tend to seek out scary movies, horror novels, or haunted houses—and not just during the Halloween season. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New haunted house study suggests there’s a sweet spot for recreational fear," 3 Nov. 2020 Halloween calls for certain traditions, like dressing up in costumes, eating candy, and watching scary movies. Marci Robin, Allure, "Courteney Cox Brought Back Her Infamous Scream 3 Bangs," 2 Nov. 2020 Despite the very scary experience, JoJo and Javier remained in very good spirits and even joked around a lot while revealing what happened to them. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "JoJo Siwa Reveals She Was Swatted After Coming Out," 25 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scary

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for scary

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for scary



English Language Learners Definition of scary

: causing fear


\ ˈsker-ē How to pronounce scary (audio) \
scarier; scariest

Kids Definition of scary

: causing fright a scary movie

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More from Merriam-Webster on scary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scary

Nglish: Translation of scary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scary for Arabic Speakers

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