bugbear


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bug·bear

 (bŭg′bâr′)
n.
1. A cause of fear, anxiety, or irritation: Overcrowding is often a bugbear for train commuters.
2. A difficult or persistent problem: "One of the major bugbears of traditional AI is the difficulty of programming computers to recognize that different but similar objects are instances of the same type of thing" (Jack Copeland).
3. A fearsome imaginary creature, especially one evoked to frighten children.

[Obsolete bug, hobgoblin (from Middle English bugge, perhaps from Welsh bwg) + bear.]

bugbear

(ˈbʌɡˌbɛə)
n
1. a thing that causes obsessive fear or anxiety
2. (European Myth & Legend) (in English folklore) a goblin said to eat naughty children and thought to be in the form of a bear
[C16: from bug2 + bear2; compare bugaboo]

bug•bear

(ˈbʌgˌbɛər)

n.
1. a persistent problem or source of annoyance.
2. any source, real or imaginary, of fright or fear.
3. (in folklore) a goblin said to eat up naughty children.
[1570–80]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bugbear - an imaginary monster used to frighten childrenbugbear - an imaginary monster used to frighten children
monster - an imaginary creature usually having various human and animal parts
2.bugbear - an object of dread or apprehension; "Germany was always a bugbear for France"; "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"--Ralph Waldo Emerson
object - the focus of cognitions or feelings; "objects of thought"; "the object of my affection"

bugbear

noun pet hate, bête noire, horror, nightmare, devil, dread, fiend, anathema, bane, bogeyman, bugaboo, bogey Money is my biggest bugbear.

bugbear

noun
An object of extreme dislike:
Informal: horror.
Translations

bugbear

[ˈbʌgbɛəʳ] Npesadilla f

bugbear

[ˈbʌgbɛər] ncauchemar m, bête f noirebug-eyed [ˌbʌgˈaɪd] adj [monster, Martian] → aux yeux exorbités
to be bug-eyed → ouvrir des yeux ébahis

bugbear

[ˈbʌgˌbɛəʳ] nspauracchio
References in classic literature ?
There is no greater bugbear than a strong-willed relative in the circle of his own connections.
thought I, and we walked away, both commenting, after each other's fashion, upon this ragged old sailor; and agreed that he was nothing but a humbug, trying to be a bugbear.
He was expecting to be a sort of hero--the creator of a wild panic--and here everybody sat and smiled a mocking smile, and an old woman made fun of his bugbear.
and invent bugbear stories to terrify her from my door-stones?
Visit the gaols, the slaughter-houses, and the market-places; for the presence of the governor is of great importance in such places; it comforts the prisoners who are in hopes of a speedy release, it is the bugbear of the butchers who have then to give just weight, and it is the terror of the market-women for the same reason.
I understand that Mazarin is at this very moment extremely uneasy as to the state of affairs; that his orders are not respected like those of our former bugbear, the deceased cardinal, whose portrait as you see hangs yonder -- for whatever may be thought of him, it must be allowed that Richelieu was great.
I'll not lose sight of my best pupil yet," said I, "though she were born of beggars and lodged in a cellar; for the rest, it is absurd to make a bugbear of her origin to me--I happen to know that she was a Swiss pastor's daughter, neither more nor less; and, as to her narrow means, I care nothing for the poverty of her purse so long as her heart overflows with affluence.
I used to feel that keenly as a boy, when, by a prophetic irony, burglars were my bugbear, and I looked under my bed every night in life.
They're easily shocked, these country clergy, and no doubt I'm a bugbear to 'em.
On the last occasion when the great Russian bugbear provoked a division, he voted submissively with his Conservative allies.
In the end of it Defoe calls upon the Pillory, "Thou Bugbear of the Law," to speak and say why he stands there:--
all I understood by being a gentlewoman was to be able to work for myself, and get enough to keep me without that terrible bugbear going to service, whereas they meant to live great, rich and high, and I know not what.