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 ?
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. But we had not gone perhaps above a hundred yards, when chancing to turn a corner, and looking back as I did so, who should be seen but Elijah following us, though at a distance.
On the last occasion when the great Russian bugbear provoked a division, he voted submissively with his Conservative allies.
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. I turned and crept away--for I was that boy--and never even cared to discover whether I had dreamed the fire or actually seen it.
and invent bugbear stories to terrify her from my door-stones?
In the end of it Defoe calls upon the Pillory, "Thou Bugbear of the Law," to speak and say why he stands there:--
What have I done to be made a bugbear of, and to be shunned and dreaded as if I brought the plague?
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.
Spiders are my bugbear. Now my father has no sympathy with that sentiment--have you, dear?" For the Earl had caught the word and turned to listen.
They're easily shocked, these country clergy, and no doubt I'm a bugbear to 'em.
There is no greater bugbear than a strong-willed relative in the circle of his own connections.
Hooper was irreparbly a bugbear. He could not walk the street with any peace of mind, so conscious was he that the gentle and timid would turn aside to avoid him, and that others would make it a point of hardihood to throw themselves in his way.
"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."