(pronounced bet NWAHR)
The literal French translation: black beast. Sounds scary. The way the English-speaking world uses the term is a little less creepy: a person or thing (not necessarily tangible) that you want to avoid because it stirs up dread, disgust and/or hatred. Uh… we hope we’re not anyone’s bête noire.
EXAMPLE: Prima donna designers have long been the bête noire of contractors, but they’ve become the darlings of drama-hungry media and insecure, status-conscious clients.