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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.
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.
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 best/worst case scenario.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer