Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hoax or fraud.
  • n. An extraordinarily complicated situation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A great discovery which turns out to be illusory; a hoax.
  • n. A confused or complicated situation; a muddle.

Etymologies

From mare's + nest. Compare horse-nest. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I'd had one opportunity to use the power of dream-walking and I'd made a mare's nest of it.

    Renegade's Magic

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A mare's nest is an illusion or disappointment. The phrase originally started as "horse nest". The meaning comes from the fact that mares don't make nests; therefore, if someone claims to find one, it is an illusion.

    August 1, 2008