Definition of bugaboo in English:


Syllabification: bug·a·boo
Pronunciation: /ˈbəgəˌbo͞o


chiefly North American
  • An object of fear or alarm; a bugbear.
    More example sentences
    • On the ground at Italy's Bologna International Airport, I ran into the same old bugaboos that make travel back home such a hassle.
    • One of the main bugaboos that Americans have about national healthcare is the fear that it means long waiting times for office visits and elective surgery.
    • On a related matter, lack of socialization is the bugaboo of the anti-homeschooler.


mid 18th century: probably of Celtic origin and related to Welsh bwci bo 'bogey, the Devil', bwci 'hobgoblin' and Cornish bucca.

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