Originally a mythological monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat & the tail of a serpent. Terrifying! This word has come to represent any horrible fear or morbid terror. On the day before an exam a student may imagine any number of chimeras like not knowing any of the answers on the test or getting the lowest grade of anyone in the class, or forgetting to show up at all. It is pronounced kim-EER-ah.