Dictionary

bête noire

noun \ˌbet-ˈnwär, ˌbāt-\

: a person or thing that someone dislikes very much

plural bêtes noires \ˌbet-ˈnwär(z), ˌbāt-\

Full Definition of BÊTE NOIRE

:  a person or thing strongly detested or avoided :  bugbear

Examples of BÊTE NOIRE

  1. a politician who is the bête noire of liberal groups
  2. <doing my own tax return is the bête noire that haunts me every April>

Origin of BÊTE NOIRE

French, literally, black beast
First Known Use: 1828

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: bethPrevious Word in the Dictionary: betel phenolAll Words Near: bête noire
March 26, 2015
verdigris Hear it
A green deposit formed on some metals
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears