bête noire

noun \ ˌbet-ˈnwär , ˌbāt- \
Updated on: 10 Apr 2018
plural bêtes noires play \ˌbet-ˈnwär(z), ˌbāt-\
: a person or thing strongly detested or avoided : bugbear
  • an idiosyncratic driver whose bête noire was the left turn
  • —Marylin Bender

Examples of bête noire in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of bête noire from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bête noire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of bête noire

French, literally, black beast

BÊTE NOIRE Defined for English Language Learners

bête noire

  • : a person or thing that someone dislikes very much



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to treat with excessive attention

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