the worst-case scenario

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the worst-case scenario

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.
See also: scenario

worst-case scenario

Cliché the worse possible future outcome. Now, let's look at the worst-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, we're all dead.
See also: scenario

worst-case scenario

n. the worst possible future outcome. Now, let’s look at the worst-case scenario.
See also: scenario
References in classic literature ?
I had the misfortune to scream in my sleep, owing to a frightful nightmare.
There they remained, a nightmare to me, many and many a night and day.
But Christmas puddings, brawn, and abundance of spirituous liquors, throwing the mental originality into the channel of nightmare, are great preservatives against a dangerous spontaneity of waking thought.
Gertrude screamed, and her cry was echoed from the rooms above, where several girls had heard the knocking also, and had been driven by it into the state of mind which accompanies the climax of a nightmare.
He found a difficulty in collecting his thoughts and bringing them to bear on Mamma Valerius' "good genius," on the Angel of Music of whom Christine had spoken to him so strangely, on the death's head which he had seen in a sort of nightmare on the high altar at Perros and also on the Opera ghost, whose fame had come to his ears one evening when he was standing behind the scenes, within hearing of a group of scene-shifters who were repeating the ghastly description which the hanged man, Joseph Buquet, had given of the ghost before his mysterious death.
It was on the face of it a fantastic nightmare of a task--to weave such a web of wires, with in- terlocking centres, as would put any one telephone in touch with every other.
At this Sancho awoke, and feeling this mass almost on top of him fancied he had the nightmare and began to distribute fisticuffs all round, of which a certain share fell upon Maritornes, who, irritated by the pain and flinging modesty aside, paid back so many in return to Sancho that she woke him up in spite of himself.
This picture, or rather materialized nightmare, which I have described at length, made but one terrible and swift impression on me as I turned to meet it.
At least without any occurrences that seemed unusual to the youth or the ape; but to the little girl it was a constant nightmare of horrors for days and weeks, until she too became accustomed to gazing into the eyeless sockets of death and to the feel of the icy wind of his shroud-like mantle.
The dismal quarter of Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its muddy ways, and slatternly passengers, and its lamps, which had never been extinguished or had been kindled afresh to combat this mournful reinvasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyer's eyes, like a district of some city in a nightmare.
Colette's foul walls and maculate table-linen, and even down to Colette's villainous casters, seemed like objects in a nightmare.
I think I must have fallen asleep and kept dreaming of the incident, for it seemed to be repeated endlessly, and now looking back, it is like a sort of awful nightmare.
There was another half-hour to wait, another half-hour of a nightmare, which might drive me mad.
I also had a disconnected impression of a dark face, with extraordinary eyes, close to mine; but that I thought was a nightmare, until I met it again.
He made haste to pass out by the opening, still thinking himself in a dream; but the sight of the gunpowder in the tankard proved to him that his dream was a fatal nightmare.