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horror show (plural horror shows)

  1. A horror movie or television show or other performance which depicts gruesome, horrible, or disgusting events, especially in a vividly visual manner.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) A horrifying, appalling, or sickening experience, set of events, or visual spectacle.
    • 1991 Jan. 14, Claudia Wallis, "The Rough Road to Recovery," Time (retrieved 18 June 2015):
      Colleen Fallscheer, a cheerful 40-year-old mother of two from Waterford, Mich., is living proof that breast-cancer therapy is not the horror show it used to be.
    • 2011 Sep. 10, Lewis Stuart, "Nervous Scotland secure victory," The Times (UK) (retrieved 18 June 2015):
      A good start, a strong finish, but it was a Scotland horror show in the middle as the team flirted with Rugby World Cup humiliation.
    • 2014 Dec. 26, Fakhrurradzie Gade, "Countries mark 10 years since Indian Ocean tsunami," Boston Globe (retrieved 18 June 2015):
      Survivors waded through a horror show of corpse-filled waters.

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