snake pit

snake pit
snake′ pit` or snake′pit`
1) a mental hospital marked by squalor and inhumane or indifferent care for the patients
2) an intensely chaotic or disagreeable place or situation
Etymology: after a novel with the same title (1946) by Mary Jane Ward (b. 1905), U.S. novelist

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Snake pit — Snake pits were a historical European means of imposing capital punishment. Convicts were cast into a deep pit containing venomous snakes, such as vipers. They died from snake venom poisoning as the irritated snakes attacked them. An example of… …   Wikipedia

  • snake-pit — snakeˈ pit noun (figurative) 1. A mental hospital 2. A place, or circumstances, characterized by disordered emotions and relationships • • • Main Entry: ↑snake …   Useful english dictionary

  • snake pit — n. 1. a pit where snakes are kept ☆ 2. Informal a place of horror and confusion, as a crowded mental hospital where patients are improperly cared for …   English World dictionary

  • snake pit — noun 1. pejorative terms for an insane asylum • Syn: ↑Bedlam, ↑booby hatch, ↑crazy house, ↑cuckoo s nest, ↑funny farm, ↑funny house, ↑loony bin, ↑madhouse, ↑nut ho …   Useful english dictionary

  • snake pit —    a mental hospital    Probably from one of the common delusions of the mentally ill, but also a place where the sane hope not to find themselves:     The old man was always threatening to stash her away in a snake pit. (Macdonald, 1971)    The… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • Snake pit (disambiguation) — Snake pits were a historical European means of imposing capital punishment. * The Snake Pit , a 1948 film *Slash s Snakepit, a rock band which was a side project formed by then Guns N Roses lead guitarist Slash in 1994 *Narcisse Snake Pits, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Snake pit (game) — Snake Pit is an outdoor recreational game and an alternative to the popular activity known as horseshoes. The game requires contestants to toss an oversized washer into a square wooden box or the hole inside of it (a pipe coming up from the base… …   Wikipedia

  • SNaKe PiT Music and Motorcycle Connection — The sNaKe PiT Music and Motorcycle Connection is a motorcycle rally and Music Festival held annually each June at the Rock Creek Lodge of Clinton, Montana drawing artists, music enthusiasts, and riders from all over the northwest region of the… …   Wikipedia

  • snake pit — /ˈsneɪk pɪt/ (say snayk pit) noun 1. a pit containing venomous snakes, especially as used as a means of torture or execution. 2. Military Colloquial a sergeant s mess. Also, snake pen …  

  • snake pit — noun Date: 1946 1. a hospital for mental diseases 2. a place or state of chaotic disorder and distress …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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