mare's nest


mare's nest
noun
a confused multitude of things
Syn: ↑clutter, ↑jumble, ↑muddle, ↑fuddle, ↑welter, ↑smother
Derivationally related forms: ↑muddle (for: ↑muddle), ↑jumble (for: ↑jumble), ↑clutter (for: ↑clutter)
Hypernyms: ↑disorderliness, ↑disorder
Hyponyms: ↑rummage

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noun (plural mare's nests or mares' nests)
1. : a hoax or fraud or some other nonexistent or illusory thing that seems at first to be very wonderful and full of promise but that ultimately brings ridicule on those deceived by it

creating a neat little mare's nest in English dramatic history — R.S.Loomis

spent his whole life looking for what was actually a mare's nest

2. : a place, condition, or situation of great untidiness, disorder, or confusion

the hold of the ship was a mare's nest

had made a mare's nest of the administration

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n.
1) a complex and difficult situation; a muddle

your desk is usually a mare's nest

2) an illusory discovery

the mare's nest of perfect safety

Origin:
late 16th cent.: formerly in the phrase to have found (or spied) a mare's nest (i.e., something that does not exist), used in the sense ‘to have discovered something amazing’

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mare's nest — may refer to A hoax or illusion All That Glitters Is a Mares Nest, a record by the Cardiacs The Mare s Nest, a book by David Irving This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • mare's-nest — n. A supposed discovery which turns out to be a hoax; something grossly absurd. [1913 Webster] 2. A confused multitude of things. Syn: clutter, jumble, muddle, welter, smother. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mare's-nest — [merz′nest΄] n. 1. something supposed to be a wonderful discovery but turning out to be a hoax or a delusion 2. a disorderly or confused condition; mess …   English World dictionary

  • mare's-nest — mare s′ nest n. 1) a discovery that proves to be a delusion or a hoax 2) a very confused or disordered place or situation • Etymology: 1610–20 …   From formal English to slang

  • mare's nest — ► NOUN 1) a muddle. 2) an illusory discovery …   English terms dictionary

  • mare's-nest — /mairz nest /, n. 1. something imagined to be an extraordinary discovery but proving to be a delusion or a hoax: The announced cure for the disease was merely another mare s nest. 2. an extremely confused, entangled, or disordered place,… …   Universalium

  • mare's-nest — /mairz nest /, n. 1. something imagined to be an extraordinary discovery but proving to be a delusion or a hoax: The announced cure for the disease was merely another mare s nest. 2. an extremely confused, entangled, or disordered place,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • mare's nest — noun (plural mare s nests or mares nests) Date: 1576 1. a false discovery, illusion, or deliberate hoax 2. a place, condition, or situation of great disorder or confusion < a mare s nest of intrigue and troubles with the money men William Cole > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mare's nest — {n. phr.} Something that doesn t exist; a discovery that proves to be worthless. * /He claims that he has discovered a gasoline substitute but we suspect it will turn out to be a mare s nest./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • mare's nest — {n. phr.} Something that doesn t exist; a discovery that proves to be worthless. * /He claims that he has discovered a gasoline substitute but we suspect it will turn out to be a mare s nest./ …   Dictionary of American idioms