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nightmare

play
noun night·mare \ˈnīt-ˌmer\

Simple Definition of nightmare

  • : a dream that frightens a sleeping person : a very bad dream

  • : a very bad or frightening experience or situation

Full Definition of nightmare

  1. 1 :  an evil spirit formerly thought to oppress people during sleep

  2. 2 :  a frightening dream that usually awakens the sleeper

  3. 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
night·mar·ish play \-ˌmer-ish\ adjective
night·mar·ish·ly adverb

Examples of nightmare

  1. Mommy, I had a really scary nightmare.

  2. The party was a complete nightmare.



Origin of nightmare

Middle English, from 1night + 1mare


First Known Use: 14th century



NIGHTMARE Defined for Kids

nightmare

play
noun night·mare \ˈnīt-ˌmer\

Definition of nightmare

  1. 1 :  a frightening dream

  2. 2 :  a horrible experience

night·mar·ish \ˈnīt-ˌmer-ish\ adjective


History for nightmare

The -mare in nightmare comes from an Old English word for a kind of evil spirit. Such spirits were believed to bother people who were sleeping.


Medical Dictionary

nightmare

play
noun night·mare \ˈnīt-ˌma(ə)r, -ˌme(ə)r\

Medical Definition of nightmare

  1. :  a frightening or distressing dream that usually awakens the sleeper





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