Bugaboo Bug`a*boo", Bugbear Bug"bear`, n. [See {Bug}.] Something frightful, as a specter; anything imaginary that causes needless fright; something used to excite needless fear; also, something really dangerous, or an imaginary monster, used to frighten children, etc. ``Bugaboos to fright ye.'' --Lloyd. [1913 Webster]

But, to the world no bugbear is so great As want of figure and a small estate. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

The bugaboo of the liberals is the church pray. --S. B. Griffin. [1913 Webster]

The great bugaboo of the birds is the owl. --J. Burroughs. [1913 Webster]

2. a source of concern; as, the old bugaboo of inflation still bothers them. [WordNet 1.5]

Syn: Hobgoblin; goblin; specter; ogre; scarecrow; bogeyman; boogeyman; booger. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bugbear — Bug bear , n. Same as {Bugaboo}. a. Causing needless fright. Locke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bugbear — Bug bear , v. t. To alarm with idle phantoms. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bugbear — 1580s, a sort of demon in the form of a bear that eats small children, also object of dread (whether real or not), from BUG (Cf. bug) (n.) + BEAR (Cf. bear) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • bugbear — bête noire, *abomination, anathema …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • bugbear — ► NOUN ▪ a cause of anxiety or irritation. ORIGIN probably from the obsolete bug evil spirit + BEAR(Cf. ↑bear) …   English terms dictionary

  • bugbear — [bug′ber΄] n. [ BUG2 + BEAR2] 1. an imaginary hobgoblin or terror used to frighten children into good conduct 2. anything causing seemingly needless or excessive fear or anxiety …   English World dictionary

  • Bugbear — A bugbear, also called a boogerbear , is a legendary creature comparable to the bogeyman, bogey, bugaboo, hobgoblin and other creatures of folklore, all of which were historically used in some cultures to frighten disobedient children. In… …   Wikipedia

  • bugbear — UK [ˈbʌɡˌbeə(r)] / US [ˈbʌɡˌber] noun [countable] Word forms bugbear : singular bugbear plural bugbears something that keeps annoying or worrying you Traffic congestion is still the biggest bugbear for motorists …   English dictionary

  • bugbear — [[t]bʌ̱gbeə(r)[/t]] bugbears N COUNT Something or someone that is your bugbear worries or upsets you. Money is my biggest bugbear …   English dictionary

  • bugbear — bug|bear [ˈbʌgbeə US ber] n [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from bug evil spirit ( BUG1) + BEAR21] something that makes people feel annoyed or worried ▪ Paperwork is our worst bugbear …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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