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.
to fright ye."
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.
Syn. -- Hobgoblin; goblin; specter; ogre; scarecrow.
© Webster 1913.