Bete noire



a person or thing especially disliked or dreaded; bane; bugbear.
Historical Examples

The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
Remarks Bill Nye
Border and Bastille George A. Lawrence
East Lynne Mrs. Henry Wood
The Story of the Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg RailRoad Edward Hungerford
The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) Alexandre Dumas pre
Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton

noun (pl) bêtes noires (bɛt nwar)
a person or thing that one particularly dislikes or dreads
n.
bête noire [(bet nwahr)]

A person or thing that is particularly disliked. For example,
Calculus was the bête noire of my freshman courses
. This phrase, French for “black beast,” entered the English language in the early 1800s. For synonyms, see

pain in the neck
thorn in one’s flesh

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