\ 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 scarily (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 Despite their scary sounding name, the 2-feet-long walking sharks don't pose a threat to humans, Dudgeon said. Fox News, "Walking sharks found near Australia," 23 Jan. 2020 Sure, Hunter Bishop is gone, but Spencer Torkelson, Trevor Hauver, Alika Williams and Gage Workman return to power a scary offense. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona State baseball to College World Series? Hype building for Sun Devils' 2020 season," 21 Jan. 2020 But here's a scary stat: The average American consumes nearly 152 pounds of sugar each year, and eating too much of it significantly raises your risk of life-shortening obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Michele Promaulayko, Good Housekeeping, "How to Stop Sugar Cravings Once and For All," 18 Jan. 2020 Mice and other rodents frequently use these rock shelters, and in areas with hantavirus and other scary organisms. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "9 Natural Shelters that will Save Your Life," 16 Jan. 2020 But maybe a full-source remix doesn't have to be such a scary option. Ani Bundel, Ars Technica, "The Witcher’s Netflix success: How three timelines somehow became cohesive," 11 Jan. 2020 All of that sounds really scary, but here's what's most important to know: Kidney infections are treatable. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Kidney Infection Signs and Symptoms You Should Never Ignore," 30 Dec. 2019 While Friedlander speaks fondly of it, he is focused as a stand-up performer on the sometimes scary here and now. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "'30 Rock' star to perform in Detroit, cover issues 'nobody wants to talk about'," 4 Dec. 2019 Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly (aka scary) of Atwell’s afternoon. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "U of L receiver Tutu Atwell had a wild afternoon vs. Clemson: The good, bad and ugly," 19 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for scary

Time Traveler

The first known use of scary was in 1582

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Statistics for scary

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scary.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for scary


How to pronounce scary (audio)

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

Spanish Central: Translation of scary

Nglish: Translation of scary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scary

What made you want to look up scary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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