Definition of bugaboo in US English:

bugaboo

noun

North American
  • An object of fear or alarm; a bugbear.

    • ‘Almost sixty years later, Japanese militarism remains the great bugaboo of East Asian politics.’
    • ‘On a related matter, lack of socialization is the bugaboo of the anti-homeschooler.’
    • ‘They are still America's greatest and most enduring bugaboos.’
    • ‘Keys have always been my bugaboo, but when my youngest daughter Addy was a toddler, she usually solved my dilemma.’
    • ‘This dilemma isn't confined to non-professional players; it has become a bugaboo for some of the top professionals on tour too.’
    • ‘One of the main bugaboos that Americans have about national healthcare is the fear that it means long waiting times for office visits and elective surgery.’
    • ‘An extremely long hitter with a fabled touch around the greens, Mickelson and Smith continue to work on his chief bugaboo: accuracy off the tee.’
    • ‘Since 1975, landmines have killed over a million people, far outstripping the deaths caused by those well-publicized bugaboos, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.’
    • ‘By doing so, engineers were able to eliminate or reduce many of the rotary's exhaust-related bugaboos, which primarily were related to emissions and fuel economy.’
    • ‘These bugaboos, however, can be corrected in time with patient example and education.’
    • ‘In fact, the entire notion of ‘scarcity’ is a bugaboo contrived by conservative economists to justify the distributional injustice of the capitalist system.’
    • ‘But monotony - the bugaboo of any training program - had reared its ugly head in my direction.’
    • ‘Still, the bugaboos of data transparency and price fixing concern regulators.’
    • ‘There are liable to be rocks, propellers, exhaust, slippery decks, cleats, and a host of other potential bugaboos that must be considered.’
    • ‘In the fast-emerging video direct marketing arena, this fact-versus-fiction scenario had been somewhat of an industry bugaboo until just a few years ago.’
    • ‘The Endangered Species Act has long been a bugaboo for anti-environmental lawmakers, who have unsuccessfully attacked it from every imaginable direction.’
    • ‘On the ground at Italy's Bologna International Airport, I ran into the same old bugaboos that make travel back home such a hassle.’
    • ‘The two biggest bugaboos bedeviling these preeminent directors are commercialization and overcrowding.’
    • ‘Even coal, the bugaboo of climate change, would make a better husband for water, saving billions of gallons of waterflow yearly, even after consuming more water for sulfur removal.’
    • ‘We don't want wrong-note anxiety to be the bugaboo.’
    pet hate, hate, bane, irritant, irritation, dislike, anathema, aversion, vexation, thorn in one's flesh, thorn in one's side, bane of one's life
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Origin

Mid 18th century: probably of Celtic origin and related to Welsh bwci bo ‘bogey, the Devil’, bwci ‘hobgoblin’ and Cornish bucca.

Pronunciation

bugaboo

/ˈbəɡəˌbu//ˈbəɡəˌbo͞o/