Scared vs scarred

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Scared and scarred are two words that are often confused. We will look at the difference in meaning between scared and scarred, where these two words come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Scared means frightened, afraid, fearful or nervous. Scared may be used as an adjective or the past tense of scare. The word scared are derived from the Old Norse word skirram which means to shun, to frighten, to avert.

Scarred means left with a mark on one’s skin from a burn, cut, sore or other wound. Scarred may also be used figuratively to describe an emotional wound that doesn’t fully heal. The word scarred may be used as an adjective or as the past tense of the verb scar. The word scarred is derived from the Greek word eskhara, which means a scab left from a burn. Remember that scared, spelled with one r, is an adjective or verb derived from the word scare, scarred which is spelled with two r’s, is derived from the word scar.


“I was really scared so I went to get my neighbours to come in with me and they noticed that my patio door was completely smashed and there was glass everywhere.”  (The Daily Post North Wales)

Even before that, when the soldiers stood in front of him and he held a knife in his hand, they noticed that he was scared. (Haaretz)

“Today this message goes out to the ends of the earth to reach all peoples, especially those scarred by war and harsh conflicts that seem stronger than the yearning for peace,” the pope said Dec. 25. (The Catholic News Service)

While the story’s twists and turns will likely roll well into 2017, one thing’s certain: The tremendous loss of life has scarred Oakland’s arts community forever. (The Mercury News)