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nightmare scenario

nightmare definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a situation resembling a terrifying dream [syn: nightmare, incubus]
2: a terrifying or deeply upsetting dream

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English, from 1night + 1mare Date: 14th century 1. an evil spirit formerly thought to oppress people during sleep 2. a frightening dream that usually awakens the sleeper 3. something (as an experience, situation, or object) having the monstrous character of a nightmare or producing a feeling of anxiety or terror nightmare adjective nightmarish adjective nightmarishly adverb

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a frightening or unpleasant dream. 2 colloq. a terrifying or very unpleasant experience or situation. 3 a haunting or obsessive fear. Derivatives: nightmarish adj. nightmarishly adv. Etymology: an evil spirit (incubus) once thought to lie on and suffocate sleepers: OE mære incubus

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Nightmare Night"mare`, n. [Night + mare incubus. See Mare incubus.] 1. A fiend or incubus formerly supposed to cause trouble in sleep. 2. A condition in sleep usually caused by improper eating or by digestive or nervous troubles, and characterized by a sense of extreme uneasiness or discomfort (as of weight on the chest or stomach, impossibility of motion or speech, etc.), or by frightful or oppressive dreams, from which one wakes after extreme anxiety, in a troubled state of mind; incubus. --Dunglison. 3. Hence, any overwhelming, oppressive, or stupefying influence.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(nightmares) Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. 1. A nightmare is a very frightening dream. All the victims still suffered nightmares... Jane did not eat cheese because it gives her nightmares. N-COUNT 2. If you refer to a situation as a nightmare, you mean that it is very frightening and unpleasant. The years in prison were a nightmare. N-COUNT 3. If you refer to a situation as a nightmare, you are saying in a very emphatic way that it is irritating because it causes you a lot of trouble. Taking my son Peter to a restaurant was a nightmare... In practice a graduate tax is an administrative nightmare. N-COUNT [emphasis]

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Incubus.

Moby Thesaurus

Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf-man, bad dream, bogey, bogeyman, brown study, bugaboo, bugbear, clawing, cruciation, crucifixion, daydream, dream, fantasy, fee-faw-fum, frightener, ghost, ghoul, hell, hell upon earth, hobgoblin, holocaust, holy terror, horror, incubus, laceration, lancination, martyrdom, monster, ogre, ogress, passion, persecution, phantom, pipe dream, purgatory, rack, revenant, reverie, scarebabe, scarecrow, scarer, specter, succubus, terror, torment, torture, vampire, vision, werewolf


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