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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /beɪtˈnwɑː/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /bɛt ˈnwɑɹ/
- Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)
bête noire (plural bêtes noires)
- An anathema; someone or something which is particularly disliked or avoided; an object of aversion, the bane of one’s existence.
- 2006, Andy McDermott, Final Destination: Death of the Senses, page 288:
- The CD was leaning against the side of the right-hand shelf unit, so to get a firm grip with a fingertip, he was going to have to use his left hand. It went against every instinct he had about getting greasy fingermarks on CDs, a personal bête noire, but on this occasion he was just going to have to put up with it.
- 2022, Spiked (magazine), The UK must stop meddling in Ukraine:
- The government knows that the liberal broadsheet press is shot through with anti-Putin, borderline Russophobic prejudice. Indeed, many commentators still blame Russia for Brexit. And so, at its lowest ebb, Johnson’s wretched government has decided to play to the gallery, and generate some plastic animosity towards the bête noire of the liberal elite.
Literally, “black beast”. This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.