boo·​gey·​man ˈbu̇-gē-ˌman How to pronounce boogeyman (audio)
variants or less commonly boogerman

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Four words useful only in a cloddish defense of guns as instruments in a holy war against imaginary boogeymen: pedophiles, sycophants of Satan, communist plants, and covert Islamic agitants born in Kenya. Rich Logis, The New Republic, 19 Apr. 2023 So don’t get your hopes up about any creepy boogeymen here. Michael O'sullivan, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2023 The app’s status as a Washington boogeyman has catapulted it to the center of a political storm, which CEO Shou Zi Chew is expected to confront in a congressional hearing next week. Drew Harwell And Cat Zakrzewski, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2023 Here’s how TikTok went from a teen sensation to Washington’s boogeyman. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2023 For those upset by the increasing flow of dark money into politics and rightward drift of the Supreme Court — critics include both his neighbors in an idyllic seaside Maine town and the president of the United States — Mr. Leo has become a boogeyman. Kenneth P. Vogel, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2022 But now conservatives see ‘woke’ as the big boogeyman. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 7 Feb. 2023 But in the West, that was like the boogeyman. Emily Strohm,, 22 June 2022 Republicans also have sought to link Bragg’s actions to George Soros, a billionaire Democratic fundraiser whom conservatives have turned into a boogeyman. Marianna Sotomayor And Jacqueline Alemany, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'boogeyman.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


by alteration

First Known Use

circa 1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of boogeyman was circa 1850

Dictionary Entries Near boogeyman

Cite this Entry

“Boogeyman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!