worst-case scenario

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nightmare scenario

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.
See also: nightmare, scenario

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

worst-case scenario

n. the worst possible future outcome. Now, let’s look at the worst-case scenario.
See also: scenario
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

best/worst-case scenario

The best or worst possible outcome for a situation. These clichés use scenario in the sense of an imagined situation or sequence of events, a usage that has become common since about 1960. For example, “In the best-case scenario, Dad set off the burglar alarm accidentally,” or “It isn’t just that the price is higher, but none are left even at that price—that’s the worst-case scenario.” An amusing how-to manual by David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook (1999), probes improbable mishaps and emergencies, such as how to escape quicksand or how to land a pilotless airplane. The term appeared in Newsweek, on June 23, 2010, “The Oil Spill’s Worst-Case Scenario? Efforts to Stop the Flow May Have Set the Stage for an Even Bigger Catastrophe.” The antonym, best-case scenario, meaning the best possible outcome, is also a cliché. The Statesman Journal (Oregon) had it on August 22, 2010: “Best-Case Scenario Still Means State Cuts” in the budget. See also if worst comes to worst.
See also: scenario

worst-case scenario

See best/worst case scenario.
See also: scenario
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Clean Earth said: "The Zone of Theoretical Visibility shows that for the worst case scenario, the turbine will be largely visible from the immediate vicinity, with most of long-range visibility extending north and north east out to sea, and towards the west towards Stockton.
"The worst case scenario is that all of the bins provided by the supplier in 2014 will split at some time in the future.
The worst case scenario is a failure to agree by 29th March.
The worst case scenario, depicted in chapter five, is the opposite reflection.
If we add the EUR 1.2 bln back in then the worst case scenario from Pimco is in fact EUR 11.3 bln and not the EUR 10.1 bln reported.
Salt Lake City, UT, October 13, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Inventro launches a new discussion on how to prepare a business for the worst case scenario. Regardless of if a business is starting, becoming established, or is established; there is always a chance of failure.
The worst case scenario (see Fig.4) characterizes with the static 6 Mbps background traffic flow, which exhibits explicit burstiness.
Anxious to cover their backs, another email from Barclays, anti-money laundering manager advises: "We must be in a position to defend ourselves should the worst case scenario ever occur and they fail to meet obligations to deliver orders."
Edwina Hart, Welsh Assembly Government Health Minister, said expert assumptions of the worst case scenario have been lowered.
But under the worst case scenario, Scotland will only begin to claw its way out of recession at the end of 2011.
If the worst case scenario does emerge, travel will suffer an immediate blow.
"We believe this new invisible marking system will deter potential thieves further and that, in the worst case scenario, if our equipment is stolen, it will help its speedy recovery."
There was no assessment or planning to cover the worst case scenario.
"This is the worst case scenario," says Henry Duvall, spokesman for the Council of Great City Schools.