boo·​gey·​man | \ˈbu̇-gē-ˌman, ˈbü-\
variants: or less commonly boogerman \ˈbu̇-​gər-​, ˈbü-​ \

Definition of boogeyman 

Examples of boogeyman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For years now, asbestos has been a building boogeyman. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Asbestos, And Why Did We Use It So Much?," 7 Aug. 2018 Castle Rock seems to be moving in the direction of a more standard horror story, one with a kind of magical boogeyman lurking in the shadows. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Castle Rock and Sharp Objects are the same show with different skins," 26 July 2018 But the 78-year-old San Francisco Democrat is a polarizing figure; Republicans have made her their boogeyman in the 2018 elections, and many Democrats think the party needs new leadership. Deirdre Shesgreen And Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY, "Who's who in the race to become the next House speaker?," 11 Apr. 2018 While plastic straws are not a major source of plastic waste oceans, straws have become the plastic boogeyman, and there has been a concerted effort by activists to reduce their use. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Hyatt Hotels, Like Starbucks, Says 'Good-Bye' to Plastic Straws," 9 July 2018 It’s too easy for politicians looking for a boogeyman to think of reporters as the shrill pundits arguing on TV. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "I’m feeling like a kid in America after the shootings of my fellow journalists," 28 June 2018 Amazon has already become something of a corporate boogeyman, with shares in other companies dropping sharply anytime the e-commerce giant enters a new industry. NBC News, "Jeff Bezos and Amazon have the advertising industry looking over its shoulder," 5 July 2018 So much of what makes the boogeyman horrifying to me is the mystery and almost cat-like mannerisms and curiosity of this character. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "See first photos of Jamie Lee Curtis vs. Michael Myers in horrifying new 'Halloween'," 5 June 2018 Might Laurie finally succeed in offing the boogeyman?, "The Halloween Trailer Contains No Treats, Only Terror," 8 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of boogeyman

circa 1850, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for boogeyman

by alteration

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for boogeyman

The first known use of boogeyman was circa 1850

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boogeyman

Spanish Central: Translation of boogeyman

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