Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

enfant terrible

play
noun en·fant ter·ri·ble \äⁿ-fäⁿ-te-ˈrēblə\

Simple Definition of enfant terrible

  • : a young and successful person who is sometimes shocking and does things in a way that is very different from normal

Full Definition of enfant terrible

plural enfants terribles \same\

  1. 1 a :  a child whose inopportune remarks cause embarrassment b :  a person known for shocking remarks or outrageous behavior

  2. 2 :  a usually young and successful person who is strikingly unorthodox, innovative, or avant-garde

Examples of enfant terrible

  1. <an author who reveled in his role as the enfant terrible of American letters>



Origin of enfant terrible

French, literally, terrifying child


First Known Use: 1851


Learn More about enfant terrible


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up enfant terrible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ