mare's nest

plural mare's nests or mares' nests

Definition of mare's nest

1 : a false discovery, illusion, or deliberate hoax
2 : a place, condition, or situation of great disorder or confusion a mare's nest of intrigue and troubles with the money men— William Cole

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of mare's nest in a Sentence

the lack of planning had resulted in the city's evacuation being a mare's nest of epic proportions

First Known Use of mare's nest

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mare's nest

Time Traveler for mare's nest

Time Traveler

The first known use of mare's nest was in 1576

See more words from the same year

Statistics for mare's nest

Cite this Entry

“Mare's nest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on mare's nest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mare's nest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mare's nest

Comments on mare's nest

What made you want to look up mare's nest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!