Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “bête noire”

bête noire

noun [C]     /betˈnwɑːr/ US  /-ˈnwɑːr/ (plural bêtes noires)
a person or thing that you dislike very much or that annoys you: My particular bête noire is cigarette ends being left in half-empty glasses.Feelings of dislike and hatred
(Definition of bête noire noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of bête noire

Translations of “bête noire”

Word of the Day


When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More