make somebody feel afraid
daunt - intimidate
If something were to ‘daunt’ somebody, it would make them feel intimidated or less confident. Things that might provoke fear in somebody and put them off doing something are various and can range from mild to extreme, so this word will likely be encountered in both a social and professional context. ‘Dauntless’ means to be without fear.
The threat of an increased police presence did little to daunt protesters. They still showed up in their thousands.
The thought of having to give a 10-minute speech in front of a large crowd was daunting, to say the least. I really had to mentally prepare myself for it.
Despite the risk to her own life, the dauntless journalist continued to expose corrupt practices within that regime.