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bête noire

Syllabification: bête noire
Pronunciation: /ˌbāt ˈnwär, ˌbet

Definition of bête noire in English:

noun (plural bêtes noires pronounced same or /ˈnwärz/)

A person or thing that one particularly dislikes: great-uncle Edward was my father’s bête noire
More example sentences
  • Fifth, we know that when push comes to shove, all the grand talk about international norms is often just a cover for opposing the global elite's bêtes noires of the moment.
  • Social obligations are my bêtes noires, necessary evils that I too eagerly create, often enjoy, but nearly always dread.
  • As we'll see, this is the case with Fox, the bête noire of many media concentration activists.
bugbear, pet peeve, anathema, thorn in one's side/flesh, bane of one's life, bugaboo, pain, pest


mid 19th century: French, literally 'black beast'.

Definition of bête noire in:

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