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sinking feeling, a

A sense of dread or apprehension, as in I had a sinking feeling that I'd forgotten my ticket. This expression employs sink in the sense of “become depressed,” a usage dating from the early 1600s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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