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nightmare - definition and synonyms


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noun [countable] nightmare pronunciation in British English /ˈnaɪtˌmeə(r)/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    an extremely difficult or frightening situation

    The journey to work was a nightmare.

    nightmare of:

    The company now faces the nightmare of bankruptcy.

    absolute nightmare:

    Heavy rain made playing conditions an absolute nightmare.

    administrative/bureaucratic etc nightmare:

    The new tax has been a bureaucratic nightmare.

    someone’s worst nightmare:

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

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

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

  2. 2
    a very frightening and unpleasant dream
    nightmare about:

    I still have terrible nightmares about the crash.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

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the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

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