resembling a nightmare, especially in being terrifying, exasperating, or the like: his nightmarish experience in a concentration camp.

1825–35; nightmare + -ish1

nightmarishly, adverb
nightmarishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nightmare (ˈnaɪtˌmɛə)
1.  a terrifying or deeply distressing dream
2.  a.  an event or condition resembling a terrifying dream: the nightmare of shipwreck
 b.  (as modifier): a nightmare drive
3.  a thing that is feared
4.  (formerly) an evil spirit supposed to harass or suffocate sleeping people
[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 10th Edition
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Example sentences
These are all nightmarish programs to run administratively.
Navigating the grid of city streets seems nightmarish.
It was possible these were human hides-that in itself was a nightmarish thought.
There's not much emotional weight to the proceedings because the character is
  such a nightmarish concoction of negativity.
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