enfant terrible was our Word of the Day on 05/30/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of enfant terrible in a Sentence
an author who reveled in his role as the enfant terrible of American letters
Recent Examples of enfant terrible from the Web
So will obstacle race’s enfant terrible be able to invade American exercise's latest trend?
On earnings calls and in media interviews, the former enfant terrible has begun trying to tell his company’s story and articulate its vision to an audience that has always struggled to understand it: adults.
In 2015, Miley Cyrus was the enfant terrible of pop culture, showing up barely clothed on the red carpet, smoking pot, and twerking on anything and everything in sight.
Indeed, any fan of the WB's sudsy and preachy Popular (a clear template for what Glee would become) could tell you that Murphy was camp's enfant terrible, never shying away from bridging high and low art forms in ways both brazen and bonkers.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enfant terrible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Enfant terrible, which literally means "terrifying child" in French, sounds like something that might be uttered by a frazzled babysitter. Indeed, when English speakers first borrowed the term in the mid-19th century, it was used in reference to children - specifically, unpredictable children who blurted out outrageous remarks that embarrassed their elders. By the 1930s, the term had a broader application: an enfant terrible could be anyone - young or old - whose behavior shocked others. Now the term is also often applied to young, successful newcomers who shock or scare old-timers with their new approaches, easy successes, or disregard for tradition.
Origin and Etymology of enfant terrible
First Known Use: 1851See Words from the same year
enfant terrible Synonyms
Synonymsbohemian, boho, counterculturist, deviant, nonconformist, free spirit, heretic, iconoclast, individualist, loner, lone ranger, lone wolf, maverick, nonconformer
Related Wordsfreethinker; character, codger, crackbrain, crackpot, crank, eccentric, freak, kook, nut, oddball, screwball, weirdo; eight ball, misfit, outsider; aberrant, anomaly
Near Antonymsadherent, follower, supporter; sheep
ENFANT TERRIBLE Defined for English Language Learners
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).