Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
informal Something that is quite annoying, challenging, or stressful. A: "So now I have to copy all this paperwork and organize it by five o'clock tonight." B: "Wow, good luck to you. That sounds like a nightmare." Our flight to Disney was an absolute nightmare—just screaming and crying kids left and right.
The worst, most detrimental thing that could possibly happen. Losing one of our sponsors at a time like this would be a nightmare scenario for the company. The loss of Tom's salary created a nightmare scenario for us in the face of all our outstanding debt.
out of a nightmare
Very scary, surprising, or unpleasant. Walking through that giant web was like something out of a nightmare. If I have a spider in my hair, I'm gonna lose it! This creepy old house is right out of a nightmare—it's the perfect setting for our movie.
The worst possible thing that could happen. We don't expect it to happen, but we need to plan for the worst-case scenario. The worst-case scenario here is that we lose the next three games and miss the playoffs. The best-case scenario is that we win out and get a bye in the first round.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Cliché the worse possible future outcome. Now, let's look at the worst-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, we're all dead.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
n. the worst possible future outcome. Now, let’s look at the worst-case scenario.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See best/worst case scenario.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer