word of the day

Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday November 6, 2007

bete noire bet-NWAHR, noun:
Something or someone particularly detested or avoided; a bugbear.

Even more regrettable, as far as Dame Edna is concerned, is the presence of her old bete noire, the extravagantly disgusting Sir Les Patterson.
— “The Dame’s New Man”, Daily Telegraph, April 18, 1998

Never an exceptional student, Andrews somehow managed to navigate the academy’s rigorous courses with satisfactory grades, though all forms of mathematics were agonizing to him, remaining what he called his “bete noire” throughout life.
— Charles Gallenkamp, Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions

Bête noire is French for “black beast.”