night terror

noun

: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web For instance, one skit masqueraded as an infomercial for a night terror neck brace. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2020 And the remedies for the new night terror seem to vary as broadly as its sources. New York Times, 30 Oct. 2020 Typically, kids who experience night terrors don’t remember the episodes at all. Christina Couch, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2020 Anyone who takes small children to this movie is setting them up for winged-monkey levels of night terrors. Brittany Shammas, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2019 Others know to interrupt their owners during a night terror. Jason Haag, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2020 Movie classics from fuzzy feel-goods like A Cinderella Story to night terrors like Pan's Labyrinth will also soon hit the platform. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 11 Dec. 2019 The doctors did not support adding night terrors to the list of conditions. Amanda Blanco, courant.com, 27 Sep. 2019 For example, before receiving palliative interventions, Mom had started suffering from terrible night terrors, which necessitated our decision to bring her home. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, 27 Sep. 2019 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of night terror was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near night terror

Cite this Entry

“Night terror.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/night%20terror. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Medical Definition

night terror

noun

night ter·​ror -ˈter-ər How to pronounce night terror (audio)
: 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

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