Definition of scare story in US English:

scare story


  • A sensational account or news report that arouses fear or alarm about a particular issue.

    ‘an increasing number of hoaxes and scare stories about email viruses’
    ‘scare stories in the press about teenage gangs’
    • ‘There were scare stories about Britain withdrawing from its commitments under the Human Rights Act.’
    • ‘Don't believe scare stories about injuries: skiing is statistically safer than bicycling or swimming.’
    • ‘Those who peddle scare stories about the supposed threat posed by those from the new member states should turn their minds to our own home-grown predicaments.’
    • ‘The last few days have seen a couple of scare stories regarding online banking.’
    • ‘We should neither accept easy reassurances nor hysterical scare stories which latch onto individual pieces of research.’
    • ‘Though scare stories abounded, especially in London, the Jacobites did not behave badly as they moved south.’
    • ‘The drug industry is very adept at seeding the media with scare stories to clog up the waiting room.’
    • ‘With a credulous press printing daily scare stories of impending health care chaos, the administration scaled back its bold plan.’
    • ‘The media are often accused of whipping up medical scare stories, so Minerva was interested to read that sometimes they can be praised.’
    • ‘In recent weeks a number of scare stories have been circulated in the media about the 'dire' consequences for the company's share price in the event of the management bid being rejected.’