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nightmare

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noun [countable] nightmare pronunciation in American English /ˈnaɪtˌmer/ 
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singularnightmare
pluralnightmares
  1. 1
    a very frightening and unpleasant dream
    nightmare about:

    I still have terrible nightmares about the crash.

  2. 2
    an extremely difficult or frightening situation

    The trip to work was a nightmare.

    absolute nightmare:

    Heavy rain made rescue conditions an absolute nightmare.

    someone's worst nightmare:

    The situation on the roads that day was every driver's worst nightmare.

    nightmare of:

    The company now faces the nightmare of bankruptcy.

    administrative/bureaucratic etc. nightmare:

    The new tax has been a bureaucratic nightmare.

    nightmare scenario (=the worst possible situation that you can imagine):

    If this computer system fails, this could turn into a nightmare scenario.

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a response to a scathing comment or unpleasant situation

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