From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfrighteningfright‧en‧ing /ˈfraɪtn-ɪŋ/ ●●● S3 adjective FRIGHTENEDmaking you feel afraid or nervous SYN scary Going into hospital can be very frightening for a child. It was the most frightening experience of my life.it is frightening (to do something) It’s frightening to think what could happen if terrorists did get hold of nuclear materials. —frighteningly adverb a frighteningly real possibility.THESAURUSfrightening making you feel frightenedBeing held at gunpoint had been the most frightening moment of his life.The experience was very frightening.scary especially spoken frightening. Scary is less formal than frightening and is very common in everyday EnglishThe movie was really scary.There were some scary moments.chilling frightening, especially because violence, cruelty, or danger is involveda chilling tale of revenge, murder and madnessThe court heard chilling details about the attack.spooky frightening and strange, especially because something involves ghosts or powers that people do not understandThe forest is really spooky in the dark.a spooky coincidencespooky storiescreepy informal frightening in a way that makes you feel nervous, especially when you are not sure exactly why – used especially about places, people, and feelings This place is really creepy. Let’s get out of here.a creepy guyDo you know that creepy feeling when you're sure someone’s there but you can’t see or hear anything? eerie especially literary strange and frighteningThere was an eerie silence immediately after the bomb went off.an eerie lightan eerie feelingintimidating making you feel frightened, nervous, or lacking in confidenceBig schools can be an intimidating place for young children.Giving evidence in court is often a rather intimidating experience.the intimidating presence of a large number of soldiers menacing frightening because you think someone is going to hurt you, even though they have not said or done anything violent – used especially about someone’s expression or voiceThe woman had a very menacing look.‘I’d like to have a word with you outside, ’ he said in a menacing tone.very frighteningterrifying extremely frighteninga terrifying thoughtThe experience was absolutely terrifying.She spoke of the terrifying ordeal (=a very bad experience) when three armed men burst into her house.hair-raising very frightening and involving danger, in a way that is excitinghair-raising storiesa hair-raising motorcycle ride through the streets of Havanaspine-chilling very frightening – used about films, stories etc that involve frightening or cruel eventsa spine-chilling novel by Stephen Kingblood-curdling especially literary [only before noun] very frightening – used especially about soundsa blood-curdling screama blood-curdling growl
Examples from the Corpusfrightening• The crime rate in this city is frightening.• There are so many people with guns these days, it's really frightening.• The discovery that it is true can be a frightening and instructive process.• The funny thing was, this was less frightening, even though it was real.• Driving in big cities can be pretty frightening for many people.• It was frightening not to know what was happening.• The data transfer was the most frightening part.• Flying in an airplane can be a frightening prospect for some people.• After so many years, going back to college and studying was a frightening prospect.• It's frightening to think that something like this can happen in America today.it is frightening (to do something)• Paris is a fascinating place, one of the best in the world, and it is frightening New York a lot.• But sometimes it is frightening, thinking of the struggle life is if one takes it seriously.