from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of mare's nest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A supposed discovery which turns out to be a hoax; something grossly absurd.
  • n. A confused multitude of things.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To discover mare's nests; make absurd discoveries; imagine that one has made an important discovery which is really no discovery at all, or is a hoax.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a confused multitude of things


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Ten men and women, eight of them working on new projects that had been started since young van Riebeek had started after this mare's-nest of his, all of them diverted from serious planned research.

    The Fuzzy Papers

  • Generalizations are commonly unsafe in proportion as they are tempting; and this, together with its pretty twin-brother about Cavaliers and Roundheads, would seem to have been hatched from the same egg and in the same mare's-nest.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 08, No. 50, December, 1861

  • Company found to their cost, that it was they who were burying their treasure, instead of Captain Kidd who had buried his; so, having realized their mare's-nest, they gave it up.

    Lands of the Slave and the Free Cuba, the United States, and Canada

  • But I don't suppose the denial had the smallest effect upon Mr. KING, who probably went off and dined heartily on a magnum of mare's-nest soup.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, November 28, 1917

  • The machine that was growing in a mare's-nest on the second floor began to evolve faster.

    The Fourth R

  • Jackson's voice, quavering with excitement, said, "I've run into a mare's-nest up here."

    The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece

  • "Well, how about this Peruvian mare's-nest of yours?"

    Whose Body?

  • We talked money for about a quarter of an hour and then he said: "Well, how about this Peruvian mare's-nest of yours?"

    Whose Body

  • "It's no mare's-nest," I said; "come and have a look at it."

    Whose Body

  • There was Doctor Wells, the local physician, who had joked with her about moving into the Bat's home territory -- He seemed an intelligent man -- but she knew him only slightly -- she couldn't call a busy Doctor away from his patients to investigate something which might only prove to be a mare's-nest.

    The Bat


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

  • Ideas can be swiftly assessed
    By the old-fashioned equine test.
    If it explains events
    It is called horse sense
    Or, failing, is scorned as a mare's-nest.

    April 1, 2014