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We were setting up a long-awaited, much anticipated new stereo the other day. When we initially turned it on, the sound was terrible. I immediately got that sinking feeling and started to think that the stereo might turn out to be a lemon (it wasn't).

Afterwards, I was looking for a word to describe that creeping feeling of dread that a much desired thing or event might turn out to be less wonderful than anticipated. The best I could come up with was "anticipatory disappointment" and that's not even a single word. The word I'm looking for describes that combination of fear and hope that might have one both praying and swearing at the time. Any thoughts?

  • I think what you said in your question describes it in a nice, uh, flowery way. "Creeping feeling of dread" is a wonderful way to describe what you felt. – Dispenser May 30 '14 at 15:28
  • Nervous=creeping feeling of dread – Avishek Dutta May 30 '14 at 15:39
  • Nervousness would also be "anticipatory disappointment". You're ready to be disappointed by something, you're nervous it might turn out to be shit. There's a sinking feeling in your gut that you bought a shitty stereo, etc. – Dispenser May 30 '14 at 16:02
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letdown 2. A disappointment
The cancellation of the game was a real letdown.

If you don't yet know you're going to suffer a letdown, but you're increasingly fearing you might, you could say you're having qualms/misgivings, or you're apprehensive.

  • apprehensive! I knew there was a word for it. – dnagirl May 30 '14 at 16:04
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foreboding

A feeling that something bad will happen; fearful apprehension

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This is from Urban Dictionary so you can't use it in formal communication but it seems to capture what you were getting at.

Anticipointment
a gut wrenching emotion felt deep in the belly of a person unrealistically looking forward to an upcoming event immediately after the reality of extreme disapointment has replaced the anticipated happiness

There is also:

dismay
dread
unease

but I personally prefer anticipointment.

  • +1. Exactly the word that popped into my head when I read the title of the question. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 30 '14 at 21:57
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You got an ominous feeling in your stomach.

giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen; threatening; inauspicious.

You could also go with dark, unpromising, or unfavorable. But I think ominous works best here.

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I'd simply say:

I've got a bad feeling about all this.

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