noun, plural bêtes noires [beyt nwahrz; French bet nwar] /ˌbeɪt ˈnwɑrz; French bɛt ˈnwar/.
Origin of bête noire
Related Words for bete noireadversary, anathema, antagonist, bane, bugbear, competitor, curse, devil, enemy, foe, opponent, plague, rival, trouble
Examples from the Web for bete noire
Historical Examples of bete noire
Mongenod became by bete-noire; I inveighed against him even as I walked the streets.The Brotherhood of Consolation
Honore de Balzac
noun plural bêtes noires (bɛt nwar)
Word Origin for bête noire
"insufferable person," 1844, from French bête noire "personal aversion," as an adjective, "stupid, foolish;" literally "the black beast."
Something or someone a person views with particular dislike: “The new candidate for governor is the bête noire of all the liberals in the state.” From French, meaning “black beast.”
A person or thing that is particularly disliked. For example, Calculus was the bête noire of my freshman courses. This phrase, French for “black beast,” entered the English language in the early 1800s. For synonyms, see pain in the neck; thorn in one's flesh.