put the fear of God into

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

put the fear of God into (third-person singular simple present puts the fear of God into, present participle putting the fear of God into, simple past and past participle put the fear of God into)

  1. To cause someone to repent through fear of the wrath of God.
  2. (idiomatic) To cause someone to fear abjectly in other contexts; to terrify completely.
    • 1915 August, Red Feather, 86/1:
      It was the ‘minnie-woffers’ which put the fear of God into them.
  3. (idiomatic) To cause someone to obey through fear in other contexts; to terrify into submission.
    • 1990, House of Cards, Season 1, Episode 1:
      Well, I'll continue to put the fear of God into the troops for as long as I can... but there comes a time... We're nowhere near it yet, of course...

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • Oxford English Dictionary, "fear, n.1, 1895.