snake pit

or snake·pit

See more synonyms for snake pit on Thesaurus.com
noun Informal.
  1. a mental hospital marked by squalor and inhumane or indifferent care for the patients.
  2. an intensely chaotic or disagreeable place or situation.

Origin of snake pit

First recorded in 1945–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of snake pit