night terror

noun

Definition of night terror

: a sudden awakening in dazed terror that occurs in children during slow-wave sleep, is often preceded by a sudden shrill cry uttered in sleep, and is not remembered when the child awakes usually used in plural

Examples of night terror in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Jones said that the children struggle with night terrors, and Boston’s grandmother had to undergo bypass surgery because the murder placed such a strain on her. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Civic Center drug dealer sentenced to life in prison without parole for murders of three homeless people," 25 July 2019 Still others suffer from insomnia, sleep deprivation, and night terrors. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep," 23 July 2019 Tom, a growing girl, complains of hunger, and Will suffers from night terrors. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Leave No Trace approaches homelessness on the most intimate terms," 11 July 2018 Anyone with a previous history of sleepwalking, night terrors, or other parasomnias should avoid taking Ambien, as well. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "Roseanne Barr Blamed Her Racist Tweet on Ambien. Here's What an Expert Thinks," 30 May 2018 As recently as a generation ago, problems like these were considered an inconvenient quirk or a cohabitation liability, like snoring or night terrors. Ashley Fetters, Bon Appetit, "How Sleep Became a Wellness Fixation," 29 May 2018 Jones said that the children struggle with night terrors, and Boston’s grandmother had to undergo bypass surgery because the murder placed such a strain on her. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Civic Center drug dealer sentenced to life in prison without parole for murders of three homeless people," 25 July 2019 Still others suffer from insomnia, sleep deprivation, and night terrors. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep," 23 July 2019 Celeste, plagued by night terrors and lingering feelings for her late abusive husband, withers under the influence of her mother-in-law Mary Louise (a joyfully unrestrained Streep) and is unable to move on. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Big Little Lies' Season 2 is almost as exquisite as the original," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'night terror.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of night terror

1889, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about night terror

Statistics for night terror

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for night terror

The first known use of night terror was in 1889

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for night terror

night terror

noun
night ter·​ror | \ -ˈter-ər How to pronounce night terror (audio) \

Medical Definition of night terror

: a sudden awakening in dazed terror that occurs in children during slow-wave sleep, is often preceded by a sudden shrill cry uttered in sleep, and is not remembered when the child awakes usually used in plural

called also pavor nocturnus

More from Merriam-Webster on night terror

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about night terror

Comments on night terror

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

WORD OF THE DAY

recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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