mare's-nest

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • mare's-nest A confused multitude of things.
    • n mare's-nest A supposed discovery which turns out to be a hoax; something grossly absurd.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Mare's-nest a supposed discovery which turns out to be a hoax
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. mere, fem. of mearh, a horse; cog. with Ger. mähre, Ice. marr, W. march, a horse.

Usage

In literature:

The whole affair, so far as Addison's character is concerned, thus appears to be a gigantic mare's nest.
"Alexander Pope" by Leslie Stephen
It's one of my aunt's mare's nests, depend upon it.
"A Flat Iron for a Farthing" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
He thinks we've just found a mare's nest, I fancy.
"Facing the German Foe" by Colonel James Fiske
But this is only one of the 1001 mare's nests of the commentators.
"The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1" by William Painter
Yet, as we Americans say, I may be merely stirring up a mare's nest.
"Ruth Fielding at the War Front" by Alice B. Emerson
Yet suppose, after all, I had found a mare's-nest!
"My Friend Smith" by Talbot Baines Reed
Salonika is a military mare's nest.
"Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2" by Ian Hamilton
A mare's nest indeed!
"The Tale Of Mr. Peter Brown - Chelsea Justice" by V. Sackville West
There is perhaps a subtle connection between cattle-driving and hunting for mare's nests.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, February 23, 1916" by Various
He had made up his mind that the whole thing was nothing more or less than a mare's nest.
"The Pirate of Panama" by William MacLeod Raine
But to return to Mr. Tovey and the "mare's-nest" to which we have referred.
"Ephemera Critica" by John Churton Collins
Many a "mare's nest" has been found in this way, usually announced as follows: "The horn is hollow!
"The American Reformed Cattle Doctor" by George Dadd
What mare's nest, what bee in the bonnet, was this?
"Ovington's Bank" by Stanley J. Weyman
Ten to one it's only a mare's nest anyway that you're stirring up, sis, about the girl.
"The Motor Girls in the Mountains" by Margaret Penrose
They had found a mare's nest after all.
"The New Rector" by Stanley J. Weyman
When he knows it, he will find it a mare's nest.
"The Great House" by Stanley J. Weyman
Besides I am morally certain that those Eggs come out of a Mare's Nest.
"War's Brighter Side" by Julian Ralph
The whole thing's a mare's nest.
"The Mercy of the Lord" by Flora Annie Steel
It produces such a crop of mare's-nests; at least so I have found.
"On the Face of the Waters" by Flora Annie Steel
Tom knew that he did not believe that it was all a mare's nest.
"The God in the Car" by Anthony Hope
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In news:

" Mare 's Nest" delves into the less-romantic issues surrounding horses – the money horse ownership takes – and darker issues like deceit and drugging.
It's called Mare 's Nest.
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