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the dreaded lurgy

  (British & Australian humorous)
an illness that is not serious but passes easily from person to person My throat is sore and my head hurts. I think I've caught the dreaded lurgy.
See also: dread

I dread/shudder to think

something that you say when you do not want to think about something because it is too worrying or too unpleasant (usually + question word) He was going so fast - I dread to think what would have happened if my brakes hadn't worked.
See also: dread, think
References in classic literature ?
The novice in the military art flew from point to point, retarding his own preparations by the excess of his violent and somewhat distempered zeal; while the more practiced veteran made his arrangements with a deliberation that scorned every appearance of haste; though his sober lineaments and anxious eye sufficiently betrayed that he had no very strong professional relish for the, as yet, untried and dreaded warfare of the wilderness.
Huckleberry was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and law- less and vulgar and bad -- and because all their children admired him so, and delighted in his forbidden society, and wished they dared to be like him.
Most of the children hated "speaking pieces;" hated the burden of learning them, dreaded the danger of breaking down in them.
He was, of all the overseers, the most dreaded by the slaves.
A very gracious invitation was returned, and the evening no longer dreaded by the fair mistress of the mansion.
You know how I dreaded the thoughts of seeing her;-- but the very moment I was introduced, there was such an affability in her behaviour as really should seem to say, she had quite took a fancy to me.
I dreaded being discovered and sent back; for I MUST see Helen,--I must embrace her before she died,--I must give her one last kiss, exchange with her one last word.
Next came one Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge, Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers: DAGON his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high Rear'd in AZOTUS, dreaded through the Coast Of PALESTINE, in GATH and ASCALON, And ACCARON and GAZA's frontier bounds.
It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name - and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared - it was now, I say, the image of a hideous - of a ghastly thing - of the GALLOWS
I had let slip words which, if she reflected on them, might rouse in her a suspicion of my abnormal mental condition--a suspicion which of all things I dreaded.
She meditated continually how the incubus could be shaken off her life--how she could be freed from this hateful bond to a being whom she at once despised as an imbecile, and dreaded as an inquisitor.
His uncle and the solicitor would of course do something for him, but he dreaded their reproaches.
I prefer always reading what you like best to hear," said Dorothea, who told the simple truth; for what she dreaded was to exert herself in reading or anything else which left him as joyless as ever.
The Phanfasms were Erbs, and so dreaded by mortals and immortals alike that no one had been near their mountain home for several thousand years.
I dreaded to behold this monster, but I feared still more that Henry should see him.