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Fear vs. Scare: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on November 9, 2023
Fear is an emotion, while scare is an experience or action that can cause fear.

Key Differences

Fear is a complex emotion that involves a sense of anxiety and apprehension about a potential threat, danger, or pain. Scare, on the other hand, often refers to a sudden experience that causes a brief moment of fear or the action of causing that moment. Fear is more enduring and can be a persistent feeling, while a scare is typically a temporary, immediate reaction.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023
Fear can manifest in various forms such as phobias, existential fears, or worry about the welfare of loved ones. It can also be an internal, psychological state that doesn't necessarily require an external cause. Scare is usually the result of a specific external stimulus—a surprise, a threat, or a shocking event. While fear can be deep-seated and complex, a scare is often superficial and short-lived.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023
In the psychological context, fear is an emotion that can lead to behavioral responses such as fight, flight, or freezing. It's a fundamental, powerful, and universal human emotion. Scare, as a verb, describes the action of causing someone to feel fear suddenly. As a noun, it relates to a situation where a sudden fear is experienced.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023
People may have a fear of heights that is present regardless of their immediate situation. Conversely, someone might get a scare when they are startled by an unexpected loud noise. Fear may lead to caution and avoidance, whereas a scare might be quickly laughed off once the moment passes.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023
Fear is a word that can be used in a variety of contexts, from the literal feeling of being afraid to a metaphorical use describing a concern or a risk (e.g., fear of failure). A scare can be used more narrowly, usually referring to a specific incident that induced a quick reaction of fear or to the act of causing such a reaction.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

An emotion or feeling
An experience or action
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Duration

Can be long-lasting
Usually brief
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Usage as a Verb

Less common, as in "to fear something"
More common, as in "to scare someone"
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Usage as a Noun

A state of mind or emotion
A situation causing a sudden fear
Aimie Carlson
Nov 09, 2023

Intensity

Can be deep and profound
Often sudden and sharp
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023
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Fear and Scare Definitions

Fear

A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something.
He spoke out despite his fear of retaliation.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Scare

A sudden experience causing fear.
The jumpscare in the movie gave me a good scare.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 09, 2023

Fear

An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
The fear of darkness can be debilitating for some.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Scare

A situation that causes a widespread panic.
The rumor of a hurricane caused a scare among the residents.
Harlon Moss
Nov 09, 2023

Fear

The likelihood of something unwelcome happening.
There is a fear that the disease may spread.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Scare

A state of panic induced in someone.
Her near-accident on the highway gave her family a scare.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

Fear

A phobia, a strong irrational fear of something.
She had a crippling fear of spiders.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

Scare

To frighten or cause sudden fear.
Don't scare the children with ghost stories.
Harlon Moss
Nov 09, 2023

Fear

Reverential awe, especially toward God.
They lived in fear of the divine laws.
Huma Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Scare

To cause a quick and sudden fear for fun.
They love to scare their friends on Halloween.
Harlon Moss
Nov 09, 2023

Fear

A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger
Our fears intensified as the storm approached.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

To strike with sudden fear; alarm.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

A state or condition marked by this feeling
Living in constant fear of attack.
Saved as much as he could for fear of losing his job.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

To become frightened
A child who scares easily.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

A feeling of disquiet or apprehension
A fear of looking foolish.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

A condition or sensation of sudden fear
That mask gave me a real scare.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

A reason for dread or apprehension
Being alone is my greatest fear.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

A general state of alarm; a panic
A bomb scare that necessitated evacuating the building.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a deity.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

Serving or intended to frighten people
Scare stories.
Scare tactics.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be afraid or frightened of
A boy who fears spiders.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

A minor fright.
Johnny had a bad scare last night.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be uneasy or apprehensive about
We all feared what we would see when the grades were posted.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

A cause of slight terror; something that inspires fear or dread.
A food-poisoning scare
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To consider probable; expect
I fear you are wrong. I fear I have bad news for you.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

A device or object used to frighten.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To revere or be in awe of (a deity, for example).
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

To frighten, terrify, startle, especially in a minor way.
Did it scare you when I said "Boo!"?
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be afraid
Your injury is minor. Don't fear.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

To frighten; to strike with sudden fear; to alarm.
The noise of thy crossbowWill scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be uneasy or apprehensive
We fear for the future of the business.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

Fright; esp., sudden fright produced by a trifling cause, or originating in mistake.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(uncountable) A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion or feeling caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.
He was struck by fear on seeing the snake.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

Sudden mass fear and anxiety over anticipated events;
Panic in the stock market
A war scare
A bomb scare led them to evacuate the building
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(countable) A phobia, a sense of fear induced by something or someone.
Not everybody has the same fears.
I have a fear of ants.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

A sudden attack of fear
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(uncountable) Terrified veneration or reverence, particularly towards God, gods, or sovereigns.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

Cause fear in;
The stranger who hangs around the building frightens me
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(transitive) To be afraid of (something or someone); to consider or expect (something or someone) with alarm.
I fear the worst will happen.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Scare

Cause to lose courage;
Dashed by the refusal
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(intransitive) To feel fear.
Never fear; help is always near.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To worry about, to feel concern for, to be afraid for.
She fears for her son’s safety.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(transitive) To venerate; to feel awe towards.
People who fear God can be found in Christian churches.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(transitive) To regret.
I fear I have bad news for you: your husband has died.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To cause fear to; to frighten.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be anxious or solicitous for.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To suspect; to doubt.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

(dialectal) Able; capable; stout; strong; sound.
Hale and fear
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

A variant of Fere, a mate, a companion.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

A painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger; apprehension; anxiety; solicitude; alarm; dread.
Fear is an uneasiness of the mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
Where no hope is left, is left no fear.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Apprehension of incurring, or solicitude to avoid, God's wrath; the trembling and awful reverence felt toward the Supreme Being.
I will put my fear in their hearts.
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due . . . fear to whom fear.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

That which causes, or which is the object of, apprehension or alarm; source or occasion of terror; danger; dreadfulness.
There were they in great fear, where no fear was.
The fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal enterprise.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To feel a painful apprehension of; to be afraid of; to consider or expect with emotion of alarm or solicitude.
I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To have a reverential awe of; to be solicitous to avoid the displeasure of.
Leave them to God above; him serve and fear.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be anxious or solicitous for; now replaced by fear for.
The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children, therefore . . . I fear you.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To suspect; to doubt.
Ay what else, fear you not her courage?
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To affright; to terrify; to drive away or prevent approach of by fear.
Fear their people from doing evil.
Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

To be in apprehension of evil; to be afraid; to feel anxiety on account of some expected evil.
I exceedingly fear and quake.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

An anxious feeling;
Care had aged him
They hushed it up out of fear of public reaction
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

A profound emotion inspired by a deity;
The fear of God
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Be afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about a possible or probable situation or event;
I fear she might get aggressive
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Be afraid or scared of; be frightened of;
I fear the winters in Moscow
We should not fear the Communists!
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Be sorry; used to introduce an unpleasant statement;
I fear I won't make it to your wedding party
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Be uneasy or apprehensive about;
I fear the results of the final exams
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

Fear

Regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of;
Fear God as your father
We venerate genius
Sumera Saeed
Nov 12, 2022

FAQs

Is fear always present?

Fear can be an underlying, persistent emotion.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

Is a scare always negative?

Not always; scares can be in fun, like in haunted houses.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

Can fear be positive?

Fear can be a protective emotion, alerting us to danger.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

What is the emotion of fear?

Fear is an emotion of anxiety by a perceived threat.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

What does scare mean?

Scare can mean to cause fear or the experience of sudden fear.
Huma Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Do fear and scare have the same intensity?

Fear can vary in intensity; scares are usually intense but short.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

How long does a scare last?

A scare is typically a brief, momentary shock.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Are scares always caused by real threats?

No, scares can be caused by imagined threats too.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Can you use fear as a verb?

Yes, such as "I fear the outcome of this decision."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

Is fear rational?

Fear can be both rational and irrational.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Can you use scare as a noun?

Yes, like "That was quite a scare!"
Harlon Moss
Nov 09, 2023

Can fear be measured?

Fear can be measured by physiological responses.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Can a scare become a disorder?

Frequent scares can contribute to anxiety.
Harlon Moss
Nov 09, 2023

Can a scare cause long-term fear?

A scare can sometimes lead to ongoing fear.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 09, 2023

Can animals be scared?

Yes, animals can get scared, often by sudden stimuli.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

Can animals experience fear?

Yes, animals can feel fear.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

Can a scare be measured?

The immediate reaction to a scare can be observed.
Janet White
Nov 09, 2023

Are there disorders related to fear?

Yes, like phobias and anxiety disorders.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 09, 2023

How do we overcome fear?

Through understanding, exposure, and sometimes therapy.
Sara Rehman
Nov 09, 2023

How do we overcome a scare?

By realizing it's temporary and often harmless.
Harlon Moss
Nov 09, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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