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Is there a word for an animal when it freaks out? Stampede is a good word but it seems it's used for a group of animals based on LDOCE. I need a word with the same reaction from the animal but applied to one. Think of this: your horse starts neighing, jumping up and down or running around and you don't know why maybe it heard a gunshot or saw a lion or something.

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Spooked

is a word which gets used to described animals when they get very frightened and unmanageable.

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  • Thank you Peter. Just a question to make sure to use it correctly. Is it informal? If yes, is there any neutral or formal way to express this? – Yuri Jul 19 '16 at 19:55
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    Yuri, you can find plenty of instances online. This should be enough to get you started. – J.R. Jul 19 '16 at 20:41
  • Yea, and Im thankful for that I already upvoted Peter. Thanks :) – Yuri Jul 19 '16 at 22:25
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    For horses and cows, the term panicked is also used. google.com/?client=firefox-b-ab#q=panicked+horses – JavaLatte Jul 19 '16 at 22:53
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    spooked is good but rather informal. A more "neutral" way to express this idea would be to say "The creature took fright". Take is a super-verb. You could write a dissertation on it :) – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 20 '16 at 10:33
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Another option is shied, though that one is mostly used for horses and is sometimes less severe than being spooked.

verb (used without object), shied,shying.

  1. (especially of a horse) to start back or aside, as in fear.

From the dictionary.com defintion of shied.

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