Bugbear is a noun that means an object of fear or dread.
Our word of the day entered English in the 16th century where it was used by writers of scary tales. It combined the word ‘bug,’ which referred a goblin and ‘bear’ to conjure up an imaginary creature designed to scare children.
These days it refers to anything that serves as an object that is feared or dreaded. Example: Trips to the dentists have always been Chad’s bugbear. He’s so afraid of them that he hasn’t seen one for years.