What does ‘run scared’ mean?
The idiom "run scared" means to feel fearful or panicked, usually because of a perceived threat or danger. It is often used to describe someone who is in a state of heightened anxiety and is acting out of fear.
Run scared is an idiom commonly used in American English. It means to be filled with fear or anxiety and to try to escape from a dangerous or threatening situation. The phrase originates from the concept of fight or flight, where humans and animals instinctually respond to dangers by either confronting them or running away. Run scared specifically refers to the act of fleeing from a threat.
While the exact origins of idioms can be difficult to trace, the meaning of run scared is straightforward and does not require extensive historical analysis. The phrase draws upon the literal act of running away from something frightening or intimidating. It is possible that the idiom originated from individuals who encountered dangerous situations and instinctively chose to run away to protect themselves.
The idiomatic usage of run scared is not limited to literal scenarios. It has been adapted to describe metaphorical situations where individuals metaphorically run away from their problems or fears. This usage has become more common in recent times as people incorporate idioms into everyday conversations to express their emotions or experiences.
The idiom can also be used figuratively to describe organizations or entities that are trying to avoid or escape potential problems or confrontations. For example, in politics, a candidate who avoids controversial issues or shies away from media attention might be described as running scared.
run for the hills is a related idiom that shares similarities with run scared. This phrase is used to describe a situation where someone is running away very quickly, oftentimes in a panic or to escape imminent danger. It emphasizes the urgency and speed of the person's escape.
Another related idiom is run a risk. This phrase is used to express the idea of taking a chance or facing a potential danger. It implies that there is a possibility of negative consequences or harm, but the person is willing to take the risk regardless.
The idiom run scared is commonly used in American English to describe someone who is filled with fear or anxiety and is trying to escape from a dangerous or threatening situation. It originates from the concept of fight or flight and draws upon the literal act of running away from something frightening. The idiom has also been extended to metaphorical situations and to describe the actions of organizations. Additionally, it is related to idioms such as run for the hills, which emphasizes the urgency of escape, and run a risk, which expresses the idea of taking a chance in the face of potential danger.
Examples of how the idiom "run scared" can be used in a sentence:
- After hearing about the recent bear sightings, the hikers decided to run scared back to their campsite.
- When the company's stock prices started plummeting, investors began to run scared and sold off their shares.
- As soon as the dog saw the vacuum cleaner, it ran scared and hid under the bed.