from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An object of obsessive, usually exaggerated fear or anxiety: "Boredom, laziness and failure . . . These bugaboos, magnified by imagination, keep [the workaholic] running” ( Dun's Review).
- n. A recurring or persistent problem: "the bugaboos that have plagued vision systems: high price and slow throughput” ( Lawrence A. Goshorn).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Alternative spelling of bug-a-boo.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Something frightful, as a specter; anything imaginary that causes needless fright; something used to excite needless fear; also, something really dangerous, or an imaginary monster, used to frighten children, etc.
- n. a source of concern.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bugbear; a bogy; a vain terror; something to frighten a child.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a source of concern
- n. an imaginary monster used to frighten children
Perhaps of Celtic origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)