1 a terrifying or deeply distressing dream
a an event or condition resembling a terrifying dream
the nightmare of shipwreck
b (as modifier)
a nightmare drive
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)
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus
1 bad dream, hallucination, incubus, night terror, succubus
2 hell on earth, horror, ordeal, torment, trial, tribulation
English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"