Share this entry

Share this page

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.
Synonyms
bugbear, pet peeve, anathema, thorn in one's side/flesh, bane of one's life, bugaboo, pain, pest

Origin

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

Definition of bête noire in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing