Definition of bugbear in English:

bugbear

Line breaks: bug|bear
Pronunciation: /ˈbʌɡbɛː
 
/

noun

1A cause of obsessive fear, anxiety, or irritation: the biggest villain is that adman’s bugbear, saturated fat
More example sentences
  • The major bugbear for anyone involved with Hearts is the continuing problems with Tynecastle Stadium.
  • Now making phone calls has become one of my bugbears.
  • But I shall leave those bugbears for another day.
Synonyms
pet hate, hate, bane, irritant, irritation, dislike, anathema, aversion, vexation, thorn in one's flesh/side, bane of one's life; torment, nightmare, horror, dread, curse, bugaboo, bogey; Frenchbête noire
informal peeve, pet peeve, pain, pain in the neck, hang-up
2 archaic An imaginary being invoked to frighten children, typically a sort of hobgoblin supposed to devour them.
More example sentences
  • One of these, Francis Moore, wrote: ‘A dreadful bugbear to the women is called Mumbo Jumbo, which keeps the women in awe.’
  • Mormo was a female spectre, with which the Greeks used to frighten little children. Mormo was one of the same class of bugbears as Empusa and Lamia.
  • Mermaids are supposed to abound in the ponds and ditches in this neighbourhood. Careful mothers use them as bugbears to prevent little children from going too near the water.

Origin

late 16th century: probably from obsolete bug 'bogey' (of unknown origin) + bear2.

Definition of bugbear in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day animalcule
Pronunciation: ˌanɪˈmalkjuːl
noun
a microscopic animal