follow Dictionary.com

How do you spell Hannukah?

nightmare

[nahyt-mair] /ˈnaɪtˌmɛər/
noun
1.
a terrifying dream in which the dreamer experiences feelings of helplessness, extreme anxiety, sorrow, etc.
2.
a condition, thought, or experience suggestive of a nightmare:
the nightmare of his years in prison.
3.
(formerly) a monster or evil spirit believed to oppress persons during sleep.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see night, mare2
Synonyms
1. phantasmagoria. See dream.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for night-mare

nightmare

/ˈnaɪtˌmɛə/
noun
1.
a terrifying or deeply distressing dream
2.
  1. an event or condition resembling a terrifying dream: the nightmare of shipwreck
  2. (as modifier): a nightmare drive
3.
a thing that is feared
4.
(formerly) an evil spirit supposed to harass or suffocate sleeping people
Derived Forms
nightmarish, adjective
nightmarishly, adverb
nightmarishness, noun
Word Origin
C13 (meaning: incubus; C16: bad dream): from night + Old English mare, mære evil spirit, from Germanic; compare Old Norse mara incubus, Polish zmora, French cauchemar nightmare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for night-mare

nightmare

n.

late 13c., "an evil female spirit afflicting sleepers with a feeling of suffocation," compounded from night + mare (3) "goblin that causes nightmares, incubus." Meaning shifted mid-16c. from the incubus to the suffocating sensation it causes. Sense of "any bad dream" first recorded 1829; that of "very distressing experience" is from 1831. Cognate with Middle Dutch nachtmare, German Nachtmahr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
night-mare in Medicine

nightmare night·mare (nīt'mâr')
n.

  1. A dream arousing feelings of intense fear, horror, and distress.

  2. An event or experience that is intensely distressing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for nightmare

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for night

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with night-mare