What does nightmare mean?

Definitions for nightmare

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word nightmare.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nightmare, incubusnoun

    a situation resembling a terrifying dream

  2. nightmarenoun

    a terrifying or deeply upsetting dream


  1. Nightmarenoun

    A trerrifying or oppressive dream characterized by a sense of helplessness in the face of danger, extreme uneasiness or discomfort (as of weight on the chest or stomach, impossibility of motion or speech, etc.) or extreme anxiety, from which one wakes in a troubled state of mind.

    Etymology: [Night + mare incubus. See Mare incubus.]

  2. Nightmarenoun

    Hence: Any overwhelming, oppressive, or terrifying experience resembling a nightmare especially in the inability to escape from an unpleasant situation.

    Etymology: [Night + mare incubus. See Mare incubus.]


  1. nightmarenoun

    A female demon or monster, thought to plague people while they slept and cause a feeling of suffocation and terror during sleep.

    Etymology: From night + mare.

  2. nightmarenoun

    A very bad or frightening dream.

    I had a nightmare that I tried to run but could neither move nor breathe.

    Etymology: From night + mare.

  3. nightmarenoun

    Any bad, miserable, difficult or terrifying situation or experience that arouses anxiety, terror, agony or great displeasure.

    Cleaning up after identity theft can be a nightmare of phone calls and letters.

    Etymology: From night + mare.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nightmarenoun

    a fiend or incubus formerly supposed to cause trouble in sleep

    Etymology: [Night + mare incubus. See Mare incubus.]

  2. Nightmarenoun

    a condition in sleep usually caused by improper eating or by digestive or nervous troubles, and characterized by a sense of extreme uneasiness or discomfort (as of weight on the chest or stomach, impossibility of motion or speech, etc.), or by frightful or oppressive dreams, from which one wakes after extreme anxiety, in a troubled state of mind; incubus

    Etymology: [Night + mare incubus. See Mare incubus.]

  3. Nightmarenoun

    hence, any overwhelming, oppressive, or stupefying influence

    Etymology: [Night + mare incubus. See Mare incubus.]


  1. Nightmare

    A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror, but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers usually awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time. Nightmares can have physical causes such as sleeping in an uncomfortable or awkward position, having a fever, or psychological causes such as stress, anxiety, and ingestion of opioid drugs used in pain killers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Eating before going to sleep, which triggers an increase in the body's metabolism and brain activity, is a potential stimulus for nightmares. Recurrent nightmares that can interfere with sleeping patterns and cause insomnia may require medical help.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Nightmare

    nīt′mār, n. a dreadful dream accompanied with pressure on the breast, and a feeling of powerlessness to move or speak—personified as an incubus or evil-spirit.—adj. Night′marish. [A.S. niht, night, mara, a nightmare; cf. Old High Ger. mara, incubus, Ice. mara, nightmare.]

Suggested Resources

  1. nightmare

    Song lyrics by nightmare -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by nightmare on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'nightmare' in Nouns Frequency: #2034

How to pronounce nightmare?

How to say nightmare in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of nightmare in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of nightmare in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of nightmare in a Sentence

  1. Van Roekel:

    For banks and insurance companies it might become a complete nightmare.

  2. Marina Krim:

    I just wanted to wake up from this nightmare that I knew wasn't a nightmare. It was real, it's like a total horror movie.

  3. Nancy Writebol:

    It's your worst nightmare, there's vomiting. There's diarrhea. There's weakness... There's fever. There's a rash.

  4. Actor Liam Hemsworth:

    6. The smelly kid Some parents feel the need to use the entire plane as a diaper. Gross, but true : A child reportedly pooping on a plane seat on a Delta flight last year( the parents covered the seat with newspapers — how thoughtful). And it’s not unusual for babies to drop a( stink) bomb or two during the flight. ( If this emotional support pig can get kicked off a plane for crapping in the aisle, should little humans, too ?) 7. The chatty kid Chatty Cathy is generally one of the most annoying passengers on a flight but what if Cathy is six years old ? While adorable and curious, she’s probably the last person you want conversation with, because of course she continues to ask the same question in different ways. Or maybe she’s having a loud conversation with her doll. In fact, several years ago, a kid actually got kicked off a plane for being too chatty. According to the Associated Press, Kate Penland’s then 19-month-old son, Garren, started saying ‘ Bye, bye plane, ’ before takeoff — and would n’t stop. When the other passengers started complaining, Kate Penland got mad and eventually Kate Penland and Kate Penland son were asked to leave. That seems a little extreme. Maybe just give the kid a pack of pretzels( peanuts are too risky) and offer him a window seat. 8. The ultimate nightmare kid It’s fair to say no one wants to sit next to a kid who kicks your seat, complains, talks up a storm and manages to poop themselves all on one flight. But as they say in airline business, the sky’s the limit. Passengers who survive the ultimate nightmare child passenger deserve a medal. Actor Liam Hemsworth recently admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that Actor Liam Hemsworth own three kids were those kids on a recent flight from London to Australia( a 30-hour trip). The Ellen DeGeneres Show was kind of like the trip from hell, they were all sick and literally took turns to scream. One would kinda do it and then look over and be like, ‘ I ’m done, you want a turn ? ’ ' Yep, Wahhhh ! ’ The whole cabin, yeah, wanted to kick us off … I don’t know what people expect though — you’re gon na put them in the suitcase or something ?

  5. Sipho P Nkosi:

    A dream without willingness is just a nightmare.

Images & Illustrations of nightmare

  1. nightmarenightmarenightmarenightmarenightmare

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Translations for nightmare

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    assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing
    • A. aberrate
    • B. gloat
    • C. abet
    • D. excogitate

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