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Meaning of Bugboo

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  • An imagined fear or threat, or a fear presumed larger than it really is.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

{ Bug`a*boo" (&?;), Bug"bear` } (&?;), n. [See Bug.] Something frightful, as a specter; anything imaginary that causes needless fright; something used to excite needless fear; also, something really dangerous, used to frighten children, etc. "Bugaboos to fright ye." Lloyd.

But, to the world no bugbear is so great
As want of figure and a small estate.

The bugaboo of the liberals is the church pray.
S. B. Griffin.

The great bugaboo of the birds is the owl.
J. Burroughs.

Syn. -- Hobgoblin; goblin; specter; ogre; scarecrow.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Bugaboo

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