\ 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

Most of the scary things in his life were sad and real. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 And the fact that it’s protected by the most powerful, scariest, most dangerous man in all of New England, Raymond Patriarca. Amanda Milkovits,, "And now, a film about the other big New England heist," 7 June 2019 Also knowing that responsibility is on your shoulders is the scariest and hardest part. Jane Donahue, Naperville Sun, "Teacher Feature: Tapping into kids' curiosity to make a difference," 7 June 2019 Reed said she’s never been shot at and tries to talk her way out of any scary encounters. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network," 16 May 2019 But the list of possible side effects is long—and scary. Tatiana Boncompagni, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside Hollywood's Dangerous Anti-Aging Secret," 21 May 2019 Branch Technology via Architect Magazine 3D printing has fast become a dominant—if occasionally gimmicky—force in design and engineering, with results ranging from the innovative to the predictably scary. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "World’s largest 3D-printed structure unveiled in Tennessee," 20 July 2018 One of them happens to be in China, which is even more scary. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Nobody trusts Facebook anymore. Here’s one way it could change that.," 15 Oct. 2018 And the second post with the most impressions is more ominous than straight-up scary. Margaret Lin, Curbed, "This meme page curates the best of the internet’s ‘spooky toilets’," 5 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near scary

scar tissue







Statistics for scary

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scary

The first known use of scary was in 1582

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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

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 take the place or position of

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