105 Synonyms for “Scary” with Examples | Another Word for “Scary”

Often, we look for synonyms for scary to avoid repetition or to match the intensity of the emotion we’re trying to convey. Each synonym has its place, helping us tailor our language to the situation at hand. By choosing our words carefully, we can create a more vivid picture in the minds of our audience and communicate exactly how spine-tingling a scenario or entity is.

Scary Synonyms

Another Word for Scary | 95+ Synonyms for "Scary" in EnglishPin

What Is “Scary”?

“Scary” is an adjective that describes something causing fear, unease, or fright. It’s the kind of feeling we get when we are faced with something that threatens our sense of safety or comfort, whether it’s real or imagined.

List of Synonyms for Scary

  • Alarming
  • Appalling
  • Chilling
  • Creepy
  • Daunting
  • Dire
  • Disconcerting
  • Disquieting
  • Distressing
  • Disturbing
  • Eerie
  • Fearsome
  • Foreboding
  • Frightening
  • Ghastly
  • Grisly
  • Hair-raising
  • Harrowing
  • Horrendous
  • Horrific
  • Intimidating
  • Macabre
  • Menacing
  • Mysterious
  • Ominous
  • Petrifying
  • Sinister
  • Spine-chilling
  • Spooky
  • Startling
  • Terrifying
  • Threatening
  • Treacherous
  • Unnerving
  • Unsettling
  • Blood-curdling
  • Dreadful
  • Fear-inducing
  • Formidable
  • Ghoulish
  • Grim
  • Grotesque
  • Haunting
  • Hideous
  • Intense
  • Looming
  • Monstrous
  • Morbid
  • Nightmarish
  • Shocking
  • Spectral
  • Tense
  • Thrilling
  • Timorous
  • Troubling
  • Uncanny
  • Unearthly
  • Unpleasant
  • Weird
  • Worrying
  • Anxiety-provoking
  • Bizarre
  • Brooding
  • Dark
  • Demonic
  • Discomposing
  • Disgusting
  • Dismaying
  • Freaky
  • Ghostly
  • Gory
  • Lurid
  • Nerve-wracking
  • Panic-inducing
  • Phantom
  • Redoubtable
  • Repellent
  • Repugnant
  • Revolting
  • Scandalous
  • Shadowy
  • Shock-inducing
  • Strange
  • Supernatural
  • Terrific
  • Uncomfortable
  • Unspeakable
  • Vile
  • Wicked
  • Abominable
  • Atrocious
  • Bloodcurdling
  • Bone-chilling
  • Kafkaesque
  • Lovecraftian
  • Moody
  • Sepulchral
  • Shuddersome
  • Sombre
  • Unwholesome
  • Visceral
  • Eerily silent
  • Goosebump-inducing
  • Heart-stopping
  • Spine-tingling

Types of Synonyms for Scary

Mildly Frightening

  • Creepy: Suggests something that causes discomfort or unease.
  • Eerie: Describes a strange, mysterious feeling that is unsettling.

Moderately Scary

  • Alarming: Causes a sense of urgent worry or fear.
  • Disturbing: Something that is upsetting or disquieting.

Highly Terrifying

  • Horrifying: Causes great fear or shock.
  • Formidable: Inspires fear through being impressively large, powerful, or capable.

Common Synonyms for Scary

Scary vs. Frightening

Scary often describes something that causes a quick, sharp fear, while frightening implies a deeper, more sustained level of fear. For example:

  • “The jump scare in the movie was scary and made me yelp.”
  • “The ongoing presence of the antagonist was continuously frightening throughout the film.”

Scary vs. Terrifying 

Comparatively, terrifying is a stronger word than scary and suggests an intense, overwhelming fear with potentially paralyzing effects. Here are the example sentences:

  • “Hearing strange noises at night can be scary.”
  • “Coming face-to-face with a lion in the wild is absolutely terrifying.”

Scary vs. Horrifying 

Horrifying steps up the intensity, often involving shock or disgust in addition to fear, while scary might not evoke such strong emotions. Observing the use in sentences:

  • “A scary story may give you a chill.”
  • ” The news reported a horrifying accident on the highway that involved multiple vehicles.”

Scary vs. Threatening 

Lastly, threatening implies a risk or danger that could lead to harm, whereas scary may not necessarily involve an anticipated threat. Here’s how we can see them in action:

  • “Dark clouds can look scary when you’re alone.”
  • “An aggressive dog’s growl is more than scary; it’s threatening because there’s a clear and present danger.”

Synonyms for Scary in Different Contexts 

Entertainment That Thrills

  • Terrifying: This movie is terrifying; I couldn’t sleep without a night light for a week!
  • Horrifying: The special effects in the horror film were so realistic that they were genuinely horrifying to watch.

Describing a Dangerous Situation

  • Formidable: We face a formidable challenge that could have serious consequences.
  • Menacing: The growls from the dark alley were truly menacing.

Eerie Environments

  • Creepy: That abandoned house at the end of the street looks so creepy at night.
  • Eerie: There’s an eerie silence in the fog-shrouded forest that gives me chills.

Light-Hearted and Less Intense

  • Spooky: Our Halloween party will be perfectly spooky with all these decorations.
  • Hair-raising: That was a hair-raising rollercoaster ride, but I loved every second!

Absolute and Near Synonyms of Scary

Absolute Synonyms for Scary 

Synonym Meaning
Terrifying Causing extreme fear; very frightening.
Frightening Inspiring fear or alarm; causing fear.
Horrifying Causing great shock or fear; extremely unsettling.
Dreadful Causing great and oppressive fear; shocking.
Alarming Worrying or disturbing; creating fear or anxiety.

Near Synonyms for Scary 

Synonym Meaning
Creepy Causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease.
Eerie Strange and frightening; inspiring superstitious fear.
Spooky Suggestive of ghosts or the supernatural; chilling in an eerie way.
Menacing Suggesting the presence of danger; threatening.
Disconcerting Causing one to feel unsettled or unnerved.
Intimidating Having a frightening, overawing, or threatening effect.
Chilling Causing a fear or horror, often because of a likelihood of something bad.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some informal alternatives to the word ‘scary’?

Some informal alternatives we can use include “spooky,” “creepy,” and “hair-raising.” These are great for casual conversations.

Can you list some antonyms for ‘scary’?

Indeed, antonyms for ‘scary’ would include “comforting,” “soothing,” “inviting,” and “appealing.”

What are some humorous synonyms for ‘scary’?

Humorous synonyms for ‘scary’ might be “spooktacular” or “frightastic.” These playful words can add a light-hearted touch to our spooky tales.

How would you describe something that is both strange and frightening?

We’d describe something that is both strange and frightening as “eerie” or “uncanny.”

Could you provide a definition for ‘frightening’?

‘Frightening’ is an adjective we use to describe something that causes fear or anxiety.

What’s considered a sophisticated term for ‘creepy’?

A more sophisticated term for ‘creepy’ that we might use is “macabre.” This term conveys a sense of the grim or ghastly aspect of horror.

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