snake-pit

snake pit

noun Informal.
1.
a mental hospital marked by squalor and inhumane or indifferent care for the patients.
2.
an intensely chaotic or disagreeable place or situation.
Also, snakepit.


Origin:
1945–50

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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WordNet
snake pit

noun
1. any place of pain and turmoil; "the hell of battle"; "the inferno of the engine room"; "when you're alone Christmas is the pits"; [syn: hell
2. pejorative terms for an insane asylum 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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