Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.]
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]
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.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||bugbear - 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"